Over 700 exhibitors, 70 speakers, and 10,571 attendees from 92 countries attended this year’s Natural & Organic Products Europe trade show.
Confirming its position as the leading European show for natural and organic products (including health, food and beauty), the 2017 event attracted its biggest attendance yet, including buyers from some of Europe’s largest retailers, wholesalers and distributors – plus thousands of independent stores, multiples, pharmacies, restaurants, cafes, and contract caterers, hotels, salons and spas from across the UK.
“Year after year, the show continues to evolve into an even more essential item in the buyers’ tool kit. Bigger, better and buzzing!” says Tracy Mackenzie, buyer at The Health Store Wholesale. Sarah Lawrence, buying manager – foodservice channel at Leathams, agrees: “The show was excellent. Well established key players alongside new ‘breakthrough’ businesses, showcasing the latest innovation from within the sector and communicating fresh ways of how we should think about food. The show was certainly reflective of the consumer surge towards free from and organic – it was a real hive of activity!”
Thanks to a 15% increase in stand space for 2017, the event boasted over 700 exhibiting companies from around the world. Show features included international pavilions from Italy, Mezzogiorno – Southern Italian Food, Demeter Italy, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Turkey, Greece, France, and the USA, a new Vegan World area (supported by The Vegan Society), the Soil Association & Organic Trade Board Pavilion, Soil Association Organic Beauty Pavilion, Thai Beauty, and NATRUE Pavilion.
Looking ahead to next year, a record 65% of exhibitors have already rebooked for Natural & Organic Products Europe 2018 on 22-23 April, according to show organisers. Rebooked exhibitors include Solgar Vitamins, Lamberts Healthcare, Terrannova, Living Planet, Wiley’s Finest, You Theory, Fusion Targeted Nutrition, Wild Nutrition, Higher Nature, Weleda UK, Urtekram, Inika, Urban Veda, Faith in Nature, Eco Bath London, SKN-RG, Mount Olympe, and Sukin. While Bounce Foods, Pet Food UK, Natura Siberica, NUA Naturals, Thyme Marketing, G-Nuts, Health 101, and Tazaki Foods are just some of the exhibitors expanding their presence (and stand space) for 2018.
“The show is a brilliant opportunity for buyers to discover the latest trends and innovations in the vegan market. With an especially designated, new Vegan World section, Natural & Organic Products Europe attracts vegan businesses from a wide range of backgrounds. The Vegan Society is looking forward to attending again in 2018 and seeing an even stronger vegan presence at the show,” says Dominika Piasecka, spokesperson for The Vegan Society, which reported “tremendous interest in their Vegan Trademark” at this year’s event.
Alongside the bustling exhibition, over 70 speakers took to the stage in the show’s three dedicated theatres. Powerful Keynotes and insightful panel debates – led by innovative industry experts, including Daniel Galvin Jnr, Graham Keen (HFMA), Patrick Ahern (EHPM), Dr Robert Verkerk (ANH Int), John Weaver (Tree of Life), Jayn Sterland (Weleda), Jo Chidley (Beauty Kitchen), Dr Mark Smith (NATRUE), Joanne Hill (Amaranth), Jo Fairley (Beauty Bible), and Amarjit Sahota (Ecovia Intelligence), addressed key business opportunities for natural and organic businesses.
There were live cooking demos by big names like Francesco Mazzei, chef patron at the Sartoria in London’s Mayfair, Gill Meller, head chef at River Cottage (accompanied by food and health blogger Madeleine Shaw), Dr Rupy Aujla from The Doctor’s Kitchen (the event’s first GP chef), Sólveig Eiriksdottir, Iceland’s most famous vegan chef, and vegetarian chef Jay Morjaria, who calls the show “a beacon in the world of natural and organic food”.
While nutrition experts Patrick Holford, Dr Marilyn Glenville, Shona Wilkinson, Christine Bailey, Oliver McCabe, and Nicky Clinch shared their insights on the latest health food trends.
“Natural & Organic Products Europe 2017 was the place to be if you wanted to truly engage with the UK organic market. It was really good to see and meet so many young entrepreneurs, launching creative new products. This really added to the buzz and energy of the event. As always, it is the best platform for us to meet our existing customer base face-to-face. The large industry attendance also made it fruitful for business meetings. And there were some very informative speakers and discussion events,” says Scott Muir, commodity buyer at Infinity Foods Co-operative.
Next year’s Natural & Organic Products Europe will take place on 22-23 April 2018 at ExCeL London. For more information, visit www.naturalproducts.co.uk