President's Blog

CHFA is proud to be the voice of the natural health industry. As CHFA President, I am proud to be our organization’s voice. From the latest updates on issues affecting our industry, to my personal insights on professional life, my blog, "The Long Story", is a collection of thoughts and ideas that will give you a unique perspective into our industry.




Natural Health Trends We Saw at CHFA West 2018

On March 2, 2018

If you’re anything like me, there are probably things about your job that you don’t really like. Maybe it’s something that is not your strongest skillset or that you’re less comfortable doing or maybe it’s something that you just don’t like. Fortunately, if you’re like me, there are more parts of your job that you love.

One of the highlights of my role at CHFA is that we host the best, most innovative and biggest trade shows for natural health and organic products in Canada. There’s a lot to love about these shows — networking and social events, education, and connecting with friends both old and new. But what I love most about our shows (other than our members, of course!) are the exciting products and innovations that you find when browsing the aisles.

Golden milk made with turmeric

One of the trends we saw a lot of last weekend was turmeric. As an anti-inflammatory, turmeric has a long history of relieving joint pain. What’s new this year is turmeric in innovative formats that are more cosmetic in nature, like toothpaste and skin care making it easy to get the most out of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits both inside and out. We can’t forget about the classics as well — from pre-mixed latte powder featuring turmeric and aromatic spices to flavoured snacks and kombuchas, turmeric is literally and figuratively a golden ingredient.

While we’re talking about looking and feeling great, we’re also seeing increasing interest in natural skin and hair care, a trend being led by collagen. For instance, you can still add your collagen powder to a smoothie but you now have other popular options to get collagen. We saw different types of bone broth, which comes with collagen and extra benefits: in addition to helping to make your skin glow, bone broth has been shown to help reduce joint pain and support digestive health. In hindsight, maybe we should’ve prepared some nutritious bone-broth soup to comfort us through that unusually snowy weekend in Vancouver!


Now, we can’t talk about trends without talking about probiotics. Probiotics are still a heavy hitter. With gut health a concern for so many Canadians, interest in probiotics shows no signs of slowing down. We’re continuing to see beverages, like kombucha and kefir, across the show floor, in even more flavours than ever. Of course, interest in supplements is still strong, with new formulations and options now available for both adults and children.

The next trend goes beyond just one product and encompasses a lifestyle change that many Canadians are choosing to make as we become more mindful of where our food comes from: going plant-based. Thanks to overwhelming demand for plant-based alternatives for, well, nearly everything, innovators at our shows are offering a wider variety of natural health products made specifically for vegetarians and vegans. From vegan capsules to plant-based protein powder, there are lots of options for those who are already, or planning to follow, a plant-based diet. This is another trend that will only continue to grow with time.

Vegan ice cream made with coconut dairy alternative

Switching gears, let’s talk about food. The snack food competition continues to explode, as we saw many different chips, popcorn and puffs in unique formats and interesting flavours. And if you’ve got a sweet tooth, be on the lookout for all the ice creams that will soon be available at your local CHFA Member health food store, especially those that are plant-based — made with dairy alternatives from coconuts to cashews — coming in a wider selection of flavours.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to travel with ice cream so I’ll be sourcing a few of those flavours locally when I get back home, and I’ll be thinking about which of these great new products and trends I want to incorporate into my home and lifestyle.