Judging the first round of the NEXTY Awards is never an easy task. This time around, it took place nearly a week of day-long tasting, debating and discussing among some 20 expert judges who evaluated the more than 600 products nominated for these Natural Products Expo East 2022 NEXTY Awards.
In the end, only 73 products could be selected as finalists to compete for the ultimate prize of a NEXTY Award, many more contenders shone through and impressed our NEXTY judges with their innovation, integrity and inspiration. We salute them all.
Ten years of NEXTY Awards
This year—the 10th anniversary of these awards—the NEXTYs are stronger than ever as they strive to recognize the pinnacle of excellence in the natural products industry, with the goal of elevating impactful brands and products that inspire a healthy, sustainable future for people and planet.
However, just as the industry has evolved, the NEXTYs must evolve with it.
Earlier this year, the awards program launched several new categories to reflect the changing values and trends driving innovation in the natural products industry today. Here’s a refresher of the categories that debuted at Expo West and how we’re tickling our sweet tooth with a comeback category for Expo East.
Best New People-Forward Product: These food, beverage, supplement or other brands put people first, whether through their transparent, fair or direct-trade sourcing practices; support of local or global communities; vertical integration; justice, equity, diversity and inclusion practices; or support of food access, living wages, employee care, etc.
Best New Planet-Forward Product: These food, beverage, supplement or other products have demonstrated their commitments to sustainable environmental practices (alternative energy, zero waste, regenerative agriculture, circular economies, environmentally responsible packaging, food waste, upcycling, etc.) and exhibit an exemplary level of transparency and understanding of how their practices impact the planet.
Best New Organic or Regenerative Organic Certified Product: This category is for food, beverage, supplement or other natural products industry brands that are doing more by engaging in policy to strengthen organic or regenerative organic standards, converting or expanding acreage or showcasing a deep understanding of the ecological journey toward their organic or regenerative goals. Nominating brands must be Certified Organic (USDA NOP standards or equivalent) or Regenerative Organic Certified.
Best New Functional Food or Beverage: These foods and beverages seek to support wellness by harnessing functional ingredients such as botanicals, adaptogens, nootropics, etc. Brands are strongly encouraged to include in their nominations amounts per serving information for the functional ingredients.
Best New Product Supporting a Plant-Based Lifestyle: Food, beverage, supplement or other natural products help promote and educate consumers about the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle and answer a growing demand for plant-forward products that support climate, health and/or animal welfare issues.
Best New Sweet Snack: This category was brought back for Expo East by popular demand—to the delight of current and future NEXTY judges everywhere. Sweets and desserts are again separated into two categories: Best New Sweet or Dessert and Best New Sweet Snack. Additionally, Best New Sweet or Dessert again includes frozen products, while Best New Frozen Product to be exclusive to savory foods.
Open to all
By opening to the industry at large, the NEXTY Awards create the opportunity for new, smaller and up-and-coming brands to get in front of New Hope’s editors, the panel of guest judges and the natural products industry network at large.
We at New Hope Network truly love this awards program as it gives us the opportunity to elevate and support brands for their innovation, inspiration and integrity. Please join us in congratulating the 73 finalists in the total of 19 NEXTY categories featured in this gallery.
Also, don’t forget to tune into the announcement of the NEXTY winners during a live virtual event on Sept. 21 on the Natural Products Expo Virtual Platform. To watch the announcement, register for free here.
For more information about the NEXTY Awards, head to the NEXTY Awards website.