Over 700 exhibitors, 70 speakers and 10,571 attendees from 92 countries visited this year’s Natural & Organic Products Europe trade show - its biggest attendance yet
The 21st edition of the show, which took place on the 2nd and 3rd April at ExCel London, welcomed buyers from some of Europe’s largest retailers, wholesalers and distributors – plus thousands of independent stores, multiples, pharmacies, restaurants, cafes, and contract caterers from across the UK – all looking to discover what’s new at the international industry showcase.
Sarah Lawrence, buying manager of the foodservice chanel at Leathams said, “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!”
Scott Muir, commodity buyer at Infinity Foods Co-operative said," “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."
A record 65 per cent of exhibitors have rebooked for next year's show - taking place on 22nd - 23rd April at the London ExCel - thanks to positive testimonials and year-on-year growth in attendance, which was up 13 per cent since 2015.
Carol Dunning, event director said, “What an awesome show! We talk about Natural & Organic Products Europe’s fantastic buzz and unique atmosphere every year but it really was incredible for 2017.
“There was so much excitement and anticipation before the show even opened, which just continued throughout the two days. The aisles were packed with a record number of knowledge-aware retailers and buyers ready to do business.
“Consumers are showing increasing awareness of the benefits of following a natural and healthy lifestyle, and this sector is constantly innovating and evolving to meet that demand. These are very exciting times for natural and organic and I cannot wait until next year’s show already!” she says.
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.
Alongside the exhibition, over 70 speakers took to the stage in the show’s three dedicated theatres. Keynotes and insightful panel debates were led by industry experts, including Daniel Galvin Jnr Jo Fairley (Beauty Bible), and more.
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.
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.
‘Best new product’ winners at the 2017 awards included Nush Foods, BioStyle, Viridian Nutrition, Kingfisher Natural Toothpaste, BetterYou, Organically Epic, Urtekram, Storksak, Kinetic Natural Products Distributor, Eterno Naturals, Evergoods Global Co, Eurocompany, and Bravura Foods.