Best New Dairy-Free Products at Expo West 2013


Over the weekend, Anthony and I attended the overwhelming food (and skincare) playground known as Natural Products Expo West. Though I do a report every year on many of the new products released at the show, this was my first year attending the event … and it was truly more than I ever could have imagined. There were 2,428 exhibiting companies and over 63,000 people in attendance. Needless to say, we did not get to sample every single dairy-free product at Expo West, but we nibbled on literally hundreds of goodies (yes, I am heading to the gym now).

To narrow it down, I selected ten categories that had standout selections, according to our taste buds, and what we deemed the Best of Expo West. All of which are dairy-free (of course), but they also happen to be vegan and I believe gluten-free, too! But keep in mind, it was a VERY close race. I hope to share many more of the phenomenal new foods this year …

Expo West 2013: Best Dairy-Free Ice Cream

Amy’s Coconut-Based Ice Cream

Yes, you heard it here first: Amy’s is in the dairy-free ice cream business! Before sampling, I thought “Another coconut-based ice cream?” But Amy’s has escalated the experience to a new level with a truly hard-packed, creamy indulgence that tastes like vanilla, mint chip, chocolate, and coffee chocolate chip, rather than coconut. Though they use the same simple ingredients found in other coconut-based dairy-free ice cream brands, their process for making the ice cream has yielded flavors and textures that are as close to dairy-based ice cream as I could imagine. We sampled several scrumptious dairy-free ice creams at Expo West (that I DO recommend), but Amy’s really hit the nail on the head. Info soon on their website:

Expo West: Best Dairy-Free Ice Cream

Expo West 2013: Best Snack / Energy Bar

Keen-Wah Decadence

We noshed on over 20 brands of bars, but Keen-Wah Decadence stood out from the pack by creating a unique and delicious experience with each of their varieties. The unexpected flavors of these new bars supposedly pair well with wine, but we loved them a la carte. Website for info: www.keenwah.comBest Dairy-Free Products of Expo West

Expo West 2013: Best Dairy-Free Spread

Go Veggie! Strawberry Cream Cheese Alternative

There were several amazing cheese alternatives that were released – don’t worry, I’ll share more soon – but I opted to highlight something unique in this spread category, dairy-free strawberry cream cheese. It was such a surprise to my taste buds. A touch softer than typical cream cheese, but so very ready-to-eat. In fact, I would enjoy this straight on toast or as a stand-in for frosting. It was that good. Website for info:

Best Dairy-Free Products Expo West

Expo West 2013: Best Functional Beverage

GoodBelly Carrot Ginger Probiotic Veggie Drink

Admittedly, you have to be a fan of both carrots and ginger to truly love this beverage. Fortunately, I am. It is sweet with a refreshing ginger kick and that mild effervescence that comes from 20 billion live and active probiotic cultures. It is of course dairy-free and vegan, and unlike some of the other GoodBelly varieties, this one is gluten-free! As an added bonus, the carrots provide a hefty dose of Vitamin A. Website for info:

Expo West: Best Dairy-Free Probiotic Drink

Expo West 2013: Best Quick Meal

Daiya Frozen Pizzas

You would never guess that these delicious little pizzas are dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and totally top eight allergy-friendly! The slightly crispy thin crust took me back to travels in Italy and the toppings were light, but seamless, using Daiya shreds. Website for info:

Best Dairy-Free Products Expo West

Expo West 2013: Best Quick Nibble

Veggie-Go’s Chewy Fruit & Veggie Snacks

The Naked Edge takes traditional fruit leather to healthy new heights by incorporating pureed vegetables. The result is surprisingly tasty and should be easy to slip past most little (and big) kids. No added sweeteners or fruit juices either, just organic fruits and veggies. My kind of sweet snack. Website for info:

Expo West: Best Dairy Free Products - Veggie Go's

Expo West 2013: Best Chips

Rhythm Superfoods Kale Chips

There were a lot of bean chips at the event, which were pretty darn good, but kale chips were also a new theme. We tasted a few, and Rhythm provided the one chip that left me wanting more. Unfortunately, I only got a wee sample of the newer varieties (unfortunately, we were full!), but it was enough to say that these tasty chips are far beyond your ordinary greens. They are packed with flavor. Website for info:

Expo West: Best Vegan Chips

Expo West 2013: Best Dairy-Free Smoothies

Sambazon Organic Smoothies

Our absolute favorite flavor wasn’t new, the Protein Chocolate Almond & Coconut Milk, but the two new varieties were right up there. I liked the Blended Breakfast with its bold banana flavor, inviting strawberry hue, and creamy consistency thanks to the addition of blended chia and ancient grains. Our resident coffee fan, Anthony, gave the new Energy Mocha Java drink two thumbs up, referring to it as “chocolate milk with coffee.” He has a refined palate, as you can tell. Website for info:

Best of Expo West: Dairy-Free Smoothies

Expo West 2013: Best Dairy-Free Protein Bar

Larbar Alt

Think Larabar, but with some added pea protein, brown rice flour, and a hint of brown rice syrup. While I’ve been a traditional Larabar loyalist, I have to admit that their new protein bar tasted just a little bit better. Note that I only sampled the Peanut Butter Cookie, but can’t imagine that the Cinnamon Apple Crisp, Lemon Pound Cake, and Pumpkin Pie flavors wouldn’t be amazing, too. Website for info:

Best Dairy-Free Products of Expo West

Expo West 2013: Best Cookies

 Cybele’s Free to Eat Cookies

I’ve mentioned these gems before, but they are finally being officially launched and this was my first time actually tasting them. Both Anthony and I loved them and literally could not believe they were gluten-free, vegan, and free of the top 8 allergens (even baked in an allergen-free facility!). They were better than most brands of “ordinary” cookies on the market. Unreal. We sampled (and loved) all three varieties, which include Brownie Chocolate Chunk, Oatmeal Raisin, and the Chocolate Chip flavor pictured below. Website for info:

Expo West: Best Dairy-Free Cookies

More New Dairy-Free Products in 2013:

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


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  4. Its lovely too see so much dairy free food,however it it would be even nicer if these foods were avaliable within the UK? X

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  7. I have to admit that out of all of these I am most excited to see the Daiya Frozen Pizzas come onto the shelves!! No more ordering a pizza just to bring it home and add the cheese!!

  8. I’ve been waiting for this post, Alisa. 🙂 I love hearing about the new products and I trust your taste buds! Can’t wait until some of them start popping up in local stores. Thanks for the tips!

    • Yes, although a couple of these are a bit indulgent 🙂 I’m also going to write up on the trends we viewed, and you’d be happy to know that additives of any kind are diminishing. Will write more soon!

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