Fresh Take: Delighting In The Food Startup Paradise Known As Expo West

Food & Drink

Yesterday afternoon at the natural products and specialty food playground Expo West, I started dragging under the weight of two massive bags of samples. Then I discovered that actor Michael B. Jordan had just unveiled a line of sea moss beverages, called Moss, and I’ve never been more delighted. As a sea moss-er from time to time, this “water” actually solved a problem for me. Namely, not having to cringe through gulping down a spoonful of this antioxidant-rich gel every time.

Sipping on a bottle of Moss’ mango ginger beverage, my energy returned. I tried tinned fish from Minnow, the strawberry swirl whipped cream from Whipnotic, and the just-launched herby dressing from greenhouse grower Gotham Greens. This is a year filled with Millennial-fueled Hot Fries nostalgia, pickle brines, plant-based eggs in all their potential forms, honeys, pistachio butters and a lot of other weird stuff.

I’ve been one of the thousands meeting founders and trying samples this year, and, while I’m pretty exhausted after a keynote interview and a bunch of meetings, I’m also heading back to the booths today feeling revitalized and inspired. This is the show, after all, where dreams can get made. Chobani billionaire founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya reminded me that yesterday.

More from that interview, and many others, plus a lot more takeaways to come once I’m back from Anaheim. If you see me walking today, say “hi” on the floor!

— Chloe Sorvino, Staff Writer

Order my book, Raw Deal: Hidden Corruption, Corporate Greed and the Fight for the Future of Meat, out now from Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books.

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Field Notes

Maya Kaimal’s simmer sauces have long been a staple in my pantry. Her Expo West booth is always my go-to for a healthy and flavorful refueling pit-stop between meetings.

Thanks for reading the 106th edition of Forbes Fresh Take! Let me know what you think. Subscribe to Forbes Fresh Take here.

Chloe Sorvino leads coverage of food and agriculture as a staff writer on the enterprise team at Forbes. Her book, Raw Deal: Hidden Corruption, Corporate Greed and the Fight for the Future of Meat, published on December 6, 2022, with Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books. Her nearly nine years of reporting at Forbes has brought her to In-N-Out Burger’s secret test kitchen, drought-ridden farms in California’s Central Valley, burnt-out national forests logged by a timber billionaire, a century-old slaughterhouse in Omaha and even a chocolate croissant factory designed like a medieval castle in northern France.

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