The return of Natural & Organic Products Europe (NOPEX) was met with strong attendance as exhibitors and industry buyers ‘came out in force’ to celebrate the two-day expo at ExCeL after ‘three years in hibernation’.
Event organizer Diversified Communications has confirmed an attendance of 7,456 visitors, who came to discover product ranges from 800 exhibitors spanning organic, vegan and free-from food and drink; supplements; eco-friendly personal care; and green beauty.
Carol Dunning, event director, describes the return of NOPEX as ‘exhilarating’. “It was amazing to see the show so successful after such a long time. The feedback was incredible, with buyers representing the full retail spectrum, from major multiples, to online, convenience, premium stores and the important independent health store sector.
“The event is also gaining an increasing international following, with over 1,000 major buyers representing some of the most important retailers from 73 countries, many of whom list this as one of the most important international events in the diary.”
Dunning says ‘over 50%’ of stands were re-booked during the show for the 2023 edition. “We can’t wait to start planning for an even better event next year. It’s so good to be back and to see our industry so positive, despite the many challenges facing the economy.”
“For me, this is probably one of the best UK shows,” reflects Patrick Meehan, owner of Natural Health Store. “I think Natural & Organic Products Europe always has an outstanding quality of varied exhibitors (and buyers) and there is always a nice atmosphere here.”
“I come to Natural & Organic Products Europe for innovation, new brands, and catching up with former colleagues, existing partners and suppliers. I work in vitamins, but it’s not all about vitamins, it’s about seeing what the existing industry trends are,” adds Sarah Looms, senior category manager, vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements, Holland & Barrett. “I think it’s good to see everything in the flesh; having face to face conversations is invaluable, especially because everything has been stuck on Teams for the past couple of years. Hearing people talk about the industry, even if you’re not directly involved in the discussion, is super helpful.”
An integral part of NOPEX, three sets of industry awards also returned live on stage – the Natural & Organic Awards Europe on Sunday night, followed by the Natural & Organic Beauty Awards and the Natural Beauty Retail Awards on Monday afternoon. In addition to accolades for NPD, three leading industry figures were commended for their commitment to advancing the sector: the Special Contribution Award went to Gary Trickett, former chair of the National Association of Health Stores; Alex Smith, founder of Alara Wholefoods, scooped the Outstanding Achievement Award; and on the beauty side the same was presented to Jayn Sterland, MD of Weleda UK & Ireland, and chair of the Sustainable Beauty Coalition.
Next year’s event will take place on 16-17 April 2023 at ExCeL London.