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"Cheese, Teas and Chocolate"

"Cheese, Teas and Chocolate"

That's how one retailer I overheard summed up today's show. And from a broad perspective that's pretty accurate. Tea and chocolate companies especially (I would also add bars to the list) were out in force today, as they often are at shows like this one. In the absence of any really distinct trends, which we didn't find, they seem to dominate.

untitled1.JPGWalk a bit more slowly through the aisles, though, and you'd catch some pretty interesting products. I'd like to share a few of these with you:

- Teeccino is a tea drink made to taste like coffee. That sounds weird, but it's actually really good, and a great alternative for the audience it's marketed toward: People who don't want to give up coffee, but could do without the caffeine and acidity. It's made using herbal and food ingredients like chicory, dates, almonds and orange peel.

- It's always fun to see the different ways that companies are cutting down on packaging and raw materials. Radius caught my eye today with its line of replaceable toothbrush heads and handles. Rather than throw out a whole toothbrush after six months, you can instead use Radius's base handle (made from recycled materials) and just snap on a new set of bristles.

- Go Appetit has a line of chilled soups like gazpacho and carrot bisque available in grab-and-go-bottles. Apparently these types of drinks (soups?) are all the rage in Europe, where chilled soups are more a part of the culture.

- And for those who want to take water filtration to the max, Aquasana offers a whole house filter. It's called The Rhino, and it certainly looked imposing. At nearly $1,000, the price is also pretty hefty.