Just two weeks ago, the Aiya team traveled across the United States to Baltimore, Maryland to exhibit at the Natural Products Expo East. Held at the Baltimore Convention Center, this popular biannual show is one of the largest natural food and beverage shows in America, with natural and organic vendors from all over the world. Not only does NPEE have a wide selection of good-for-you products, but they have also taken strides for a more eco-friendly show, being one of the first to go completely digital for its show directory.

The most exciting event for us at the show was the launch of our brand new tea bag line. We launched our new Tea Taster’s Line on the first day of the show and sampled out all three flavors (Organic Gyokuro, Organic Matcha Infused Sencha, and Organic Matcha Infused Genmaicha) along with our usual Matcha samples. Receiving tons of compliments and warm smiles, these tea bags were popular among attendees for their authentic Japanese tastes and their bold, unique flavors. Many were intrigued with the two teas dusted with Matcha, and a lot of them were pleasantly surprised by Gyokuro’s delicate, savory flavor. One attendee even mentioned that genmaicha was her favorite tea, and that ours was the best one she’s tasted.

Aside from our new product launch, we were excited to see all of the different Matcha products being showcased. Not only were Matcha flavored snacks and drinks everywhere, but we saw Matcha being used in more creative applications, such as an edible Matcha flavored cup!  It seems like now that everyone is more comfortable with Matcha, they are starting to experiment and come up with more Matcha products that are bit outside the box. We always enjoy talking to the attendees about their unique Matcha ideas.  In addition to Matcha, there were also lots of new product trends that we noticed, such as different types and flavors of nut butters and gazpacho soups- there were quite a few of these delicious tomato-based soups. We even caught up with a couple of neighboring booths from the Summer Fancy Food Show in NY.

Overall a great show for us, tea, and the natural products industry in general. We loved talking Matcha with everyone and enjoyed getting acquainted with the new trends that seemed to be emerging.  We hope that next year’s show is just as great.