Missed part 1 of the Natural Products Expo West? Check it out here!
One of the brands I was most excited to meet with was Mary’s Gone Crackers. I have been a big fan of Mary’s Gone Crackers since their products are very allergen-friendly, and completely free of GMOs. Plus, they are made with all natural ingredients such as brown rice, quinoa, flaxseed and millet to name a few. All of the products made at Mary’s facility are gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free, so they pretty much cover most of the food allergy spectrum.
I sat down with Mary herself to discuss some of the new Mary’s Gone Crackers products that will be released soon. First up were the Hot n’ Spicy Jalapeno Crackers and the Super Seed Crackers.
The Jalapeno Crackers had a nice spice to them (but not too spicy), and I fell in love with the Super Seed Crackers. The Super Seed Crackers are made with a wide variety of seeds including pumpkin seed and flax, and they are made with seaweed to add a nice bit of saltiness. Mary explained that she wanted to use seaweed instead of soy for a different salty flavor in both the Super Seed and Jalapeno Crackers. Since soy is on my no-no list, I was thrilled to hear this. Both the Super Seed Crackers and the Jalapeno Crackers will hit stores in June/July of this year. Oh, and the Super Seed Crackers taste excellent with hummus.
The Graham Crackers are made with a gluten-free flour blend that includes sweet potato flour, tapioca starch and plantain flour (to name a few), and are also lower in sugar and have coconut oil. The graham crackers have 3 grams of fiber each and are absolutely delicious! No release date yet for the graham crackers, but the plan is to have them in stores sometime this year.
Last but certainly not least, I had a chance to taste some of the new granola Mary’s team is developing. This was by far my favorite of the day. I tend to find most packaged granola to be too sweet, but this was light and flavorful, and sweetened with coconut oil and coconut sugar. The granola was also quinoa-based which was awesome. There is no release date for the granola as of yet, but I hope Mary’s releases it soon!
It was great meeting with Mary and her team and learning about all her new products. If you haven’t checked out Mary’s Gone Crackers yet, be sure to do so soon.
After meeting with Mary, I headed over to the Rise Bar booth to meet with their CEO Peter. I’ve been interested in Rise Bar for quite some time namely because their protein bars are made with minimal ingredients (and soy-free) and they are a local company as well.
Rise Bar is described as a “bar for your daily needs.” There are different bars that are made for different times of day, depending on what your body is craving and what kind of fuel you need. The breakfast bars are loaded with fruits and healthy fats to get your day started on the right foot, the energy bars are made with tapioca and brown rice syrup to give you an extra boost before your workout, and the protein bars are made with whey protein to promote recovery. All of the bars are free of GMOs and contain no gluten.
Peter and I also talked about Rise Bar’s Athletes and Ambassadors program. Instead of targeting professional athletes and celebrities, Rise Bar wants to look for amateur athletes who are involved in their community and live and breathe a natural foods lifestyle. I think this program is great, because pretty much anyone can join!
I tried a few Rise Bar samples at the expo and I must say they were quite delicious! The ingredient profile is great, and the protein bars may become my go-to when I need a quick boost after a hard workout. Be sure to check out the Almond Honey flavor (my personal favorite). Thanks Peter for taking the time to tell me more about Rise Bar. I’m so glad I got to meet with your team at Expo West this year.
Next Up – Part 3 of the Natural Products Expo West including some delicious drinks from Sambazon and meeting Bob from Bob’s Red Mill!