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Stopping for Organics in Chi-town

Greetings from Chicago! I’m here at the All Things Organic show to see what’s new and notable from companies throughout the health and wellness industry. It’s a quick trip – just a little more than a day total on the show floor – but it hasn’t taken long to pick up on the interesting trends and new products.

Allow me to elaborate.

Kid and pet products are still going strong. Companies like Tasty Baby and Happy Baby are rolling out organic food that caters to that clean sheet desire so many parents have. And manufacturers like Pet Friendly have released healthy, increasingly gourmet pet foods that emulate human tastes; New Hampshire-based Yoghund, for example, makes a frozen probiotic yogurt for dogs. Nuts and snacks were also out in full force, many in small pouches for on-the-go eating.

Something that really caught my eye was the number of organic and all-natural insecticides. In addition to EcoSMART, which we briefed in a recent print edition of Whole Health, there were a couple others, like Orange Guard, which uses orange peel fragrance, and Natural Forces, which employs a sugar-based chemical compound to control outdoor pests. With spring here and summer soon to come (though it was hard to tell in balmy Chi-town this weekend), it’s a good time to address bug control. But more than that, it seems these insecticides speak to the same consumer demands that pet and baby foods do: protecting a family’s more dependent members.

Sustainability was also a big focus, and in some cases companies are taking it to notable new levels. A great example of this comes from Revolution, a brand new cosmetics company (they’re not even on the shelves yet) based in Ottawa, Canada. In addition to chemical-free health and beauty care items, they make a “22-use” skin cream that can be applied in just as many ways as advertised. Because it accomplishes what normally requires a clutter of products, the new cream helps conserve space and energy, according to founders Alexandra Zanela and Melissa Shabinsky, both long-time veterans of the cosmetics industry.

Could it be profitable to do more with less, as Revolution is trying to do? In an industry that went from farm stands to showcase stores and rocketing profits, anything’s possible.