The Most Innovative Plant-Based Foods From Natural Foods Expo West 2024

The Most Innovative Plant-Based Foods From Natural Foods Expo West 2024

The Most Innovative Plant-Based Foods From Natural Foods Expo West 2024




The halls of the Anaheim Convention Center were filled with the latest plant-based innovations last week for this year's Natural Products Expo West (Expo West for short), where major household names, buzzing brands, and up-and-comers aim to impress, one flavorful sample at a time.

From surprisingly creamy artisan cheese to genius reinterpretations of eggs, this year's innovations have only gotten tastier. Here are our favorite, most innovative plant-based brands that you should keep on your radar.


Yo Egg - Poached & Over Easy Eggs




Yo Egg has done what most never thought possible and created a plant-based runny egg. The burgeoning company makes poached and over-easy eggs that deliciously ooze like the real thing. Its protein is made from chickpeas and soybeans, though you could hardly tell. In terms of consistency, it feels and tastes like biting into a real egg, and it's free of cholesterol, gluten, and completely poultry-free.


Mellody - Honey




The idea of plant-based honey is sure to cause some head-scratching. Created by Mellody, the inspiration came from a desire to help native pollinators and ensure a more stable ecosystem. According to the website, over 80% of crops require pollination from non-native European bees that are imported. Mellody hopes to promote ecological balance and reduce reliance on imported bees. Along with saving eco-systems, the flavor is nearly indistinguishable from real honey. And since spice is life, a spicy hot honey option is also available.


Chef Chew’s Kitchen - Fried Chicken/Comfort Food




Chef Chew was inspired to create a plant-based protein brand after losing close relatives to diet-related diseases. After adopting a vegan lifestyle at the age of 18, like many others, he discovered that the comfort food options he once enjoyed lacked the flavor he cherished. Over the next 15 years, Chef Chew experimented with thousands of ingredients until discovering the perfect recipe for Chef Chew's Kitchen plant-based protein. The consistency of the fried chicken fillet is crispy and juicy, unlike other brands that tend to be overly bready and dense. The shredded steak is equally tasty and impressive. Chef Chew's Kitchen is now available at Whole Foods nationwide.


Oggi Foods - Neapolitan Frozen Pizza




Oggi Foods specializes in gourmet Italian real and plant-based pizzas that are gluten, and GMO-free. From the crispy crust to the undeniably delicious ingredients, the taste is simply outstanding. You will not be able to tell the difference between real and plant-based pizzas either. Its crust is hand-stretched and stone-baked, only extra virgin olive oil is used, and unless someone tells you that they are frozen pizzas, you wouldn't know it. Oggi Foods frozen pizzas are currently only available in New York City.


UMYUM Foods - Artisanal Cheeses



Photo: UMYUM Foods


There are many reasons why transitioning to plant-based is a challenge and finding good cheese is at the top of the list. Vegans may rep their lifestyle unflinchingly, but if we're being honest, plant-based cheese is nowhere near the real thing. Thankfully, the consistency, taste, and variety have improved dramatically in recent years. Enter UMYUM Foods, a brand that specializes in slow churned and creamy butter, luxurious confectionery chocolate, whole food long-aged connoisseur cheese wheels, and more. Trust, you'll want to spread the camembert and Roquefort cheeses on everything. UMYUM Foods is not yet available at grocery stores.


Chiaviar - Caviar




The plant-based world continues to get more and more inventive. Did you ever imagine that plant-based caviar would one day exist? Chiaviar blends chia, seaweed, sea salt, activated coconut charcoal, blueberry powder, and lemon juice to create plant-based caviar. It has the texture of the real thing and looks oddly similar, thanks to the chia seeds. Though the lack of flavor could use some work, Chiaviar has found an untapped market with loads of potential. It was created by Avafina Organics, a company that specializes in spreads, hummus, and superfood ingredients. You can try the plant-based caviar today for $59.95 on the brand's website.


Macalat - Sweet Dark Chocolate



Photo: Macalat

The confection world is poised to change forever with Macalat's Sweet Dark Chocolate. The company is the first to introduce an entirely new category of bitter-free 70% sweet dark chocolate. It's zero sugar, zero net carbs, certified organic, and super decadent. Unlike traditional dark chocolate, the Macalat bar doesn't leave behind a bitter, astringent aftertaste. It also contains fermented mushroom extract that was developed by MycoTechnology, a mushroom ingredient innovator. You can order a box of 12 today for $58.68 or a sample pack of 4 for $19.96.

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