The return of the largest B2B food expo took place at McCormick Place in Chicago this July with our Research and Development team in full attendance, ready to learn all about the newest innovations in food science.  This expo was jam packed with ingredient suppliers, food scientists, culinary innovators, and more all eager to show off their latest trends and cutting-edge solutions in what some would call the world’s greatest subject: FOOD!  Read on for an inside look at what we saw at IFT First!


We all recognize mocktails as drinks without alcohol, or “virgin” drinks that one might order when out at a restaurant.  In recent years, mocktails or “zero proof” drinks have evolved into more than just a drink without the booze but actually have mood enhancing ingredients called Adaptogens.  You can now enjoy a tasty beverage with similar relaxing effects sans liquor!  Our favorite that we tasted at the show: Edgar Weber’s Jalapeno Margarita Mocktail!

Better for you Desserts

You can have your gluten-free cake and eat it too!  We saw a ton of “better for you” bakery items like gluten-free cookies and keto brownies, but our favorite had to be an oatmeal crème pie containing an ingredient called EpiCor®, a postbiotic for immunity and gut health!

Plant-based Everything

As the plant-based trend continues to take over the food industry, we see more and more delicious alternatives appearing in some of our favorite foods and beverages.  Plant-based favorites of ours include milk tea, pork tacos, Korean sloppy joe, and even a jerky made from coconuts!

Colors of the Rainbow Drinks

We couldn’t get enough of the beautifully colored AND tasty drinks all around the expo!  These drinks were made from food coloring that is 100% natural and plant-based (like we said, plant-based everything!).  Brands such as Exberry and FoodRGB helped to create these memorable drinks in every color of the rainbow.

All-Natural Energy

Long days of non-stop expo exploring called for daily boosts of energy!  We loved seeing all the cold brew stations around the expo floor, but one of our favorite things was a coffee “tea” made from the pods of the coffee bean!   Whether it was matcha, tea extract, or nitro coffee there were plenty of options to choose for your fix of natural caffeine.

It would take a lifetime to dive into everything we learned at IFT First, so we hope this summary gave readers a little taste of what goes on at these innovative expos!  We left feeling inspired by the new products, technology, and people we met along the way at this highly immersive event for the food community.  We are thrilled to bring new ingredients to the R&D lab that will better create the perfect formula for our clients.  Thank you IFT First, we will be back!

Pharmatech Labs

Going to IFT First 2022 opened our minds to new possibilities. Pharmatech Labs is a nutritional contract manufacturer specializing in liquid and powder supplements. From concept to fulfillment, we keep our customers at the forefront of everything we do to ensure the highest satisfaction levels. 

Do you make liquid and powder supplements? Look no further because Pharmatech is here to help! You can contact us today for a free quote or get more information. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have and help you get started!