Dorset Cereals, Kallo Foods, The Food Doctor, Windmill Organics, Green & Blacks, Clipper Teas, Infinity Foods, and Tree of Life are just a few of the big name exhibitors returning to London’s Olympia on 1-2 April for this year’s Natural Food Show at the UK’s only dedicated natural and organic products trade event Natural & Organic Products Europe.
Showcasing thousands of speciality food and drink brands from over 300 exhibitors, the Natural Food Show annually provides thousands of professional food buyers – from specialist retailers, multiples and contract caterers, to delis, restaurants, farm shops, cafes, and wholesalers – with the widest choice of natural, organic, biodynamic, Fairtrade, free-from and special diet products from suppliers all around the world.
Although there has been a dedicated food section at Natural & Organic Products Europe throughout its 16-year history, the launch of the rebranded Natural Food Show last year, in 2011, reflected the ongoing shift in consumer awareness and demand for natural, more sustainably and ethically produced, food and drink. Having worked on the show for nine years, event director Simon Barry has personally witnessed many former niche exhibitors become internationally-recognised brands with mass-market appeal. Commenting on recent research carried out by IGD ShopperTrack (source: ‘Jamie Oliver generation’ emerges from the UK foodie revolution, 28 November 2011), which found that shoppers under 35 were twice as likely to want organic food as those over 35, Barry said:
“There has been a huge increase in the understanding of the benefits of natural and organic food. Companies like Amy’s Kitchen, nakd, innocent smoothies, Green & Black’s and Nairn’s Oatcakes, were virtually unknown outside of the industry before they exhibited at Natural & Organic Products Europe and now they have a huge consumer following. And, based on the evidence, it’s a trend that’s going to continue. As each new generation becomes more and more health conscious, stores and eateries will need to ensure that they expand their natural, organic, free-from and special diet selections to cater for the growing number of customers who care about provenance and sustainability, and how their food and drink is processed.”
With just under three months still to go, visitor pre-registration, which opened just last week, is already up over 50% on the same time in 2011, and exhibition space is now 90% sold out. While this is largely due to the enthusiastic return of many big name brands – including The Health Store, Essential Trading, Suma Wholefoods, Community Foods, Clearspring, Marigold Health Foods, Alara Wholefoods, Amy’s Kitchen, Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, Pukka Herbs, James White Drinks, Queenswood Natural Foods, and Redwood Wholefood Company – a wealth of first time exhibitors will also be in attendance. These include Morgiel Fine & Organic Foods, importers of high quality Polish produce; Devon-based Rookbeare Farm, with its uniquely-flavoured ice-creams and sorbets; award-winning organic seasonal soups producer Rod & Ben’s; The Botanical Drinks Co, creators of Lull – a sparkling fruit and botanical relaxation drink; Bravura Foods, exclusive distributor for award winning Panda Confectionery products in the UK and Ireland; The Tomato Stall, who’ll be showcasing 100% natural tomato products from the Isle-of-Wight; and Dr Lucy’s, with its gluten, nut, egg and milk free cookies.
New features include the Natural Food Show’s first ever dedicated Vegan Society pavilion. Plus, there’ll also be plenty of opportunity for buyers to refresh their international ranges, with an all new French pavilion joining Austria, Brazil, USA, France, Italy, and Latvia.
While the show’s mainstays – The Fairtrade Trail, Vegetarian Trail, Free-from Trail, New Product Showcase, FoodLovers Approved pavilion, The West Country Food & Drink pavilion, Organic Trade Board pavilion, and the popular Soil Association Organic Marketplace promoting local delicacies from innovative new start-ups, all return with an eclectic mix of real food with sustainable provenance.
It’s not just the exhibitors at The Natural Food Show that promises to draw in the crowds however. This year’s live Natural Food Kitchen sessions will see a host of top chefs and nutritional experts demonstrating how a renewed focus on raw, vegan, vegetarian, organic, allergy-free and medicinal cookery can increase healthy menu options and boost business in the process.
The Natural Food Show at Natural & Organic Products Europe on 1-2 April 2012 is free to attend for pre-registered trade visitors and relevant press representatives only. Register now, and be kept fully up-to-date with all the latest news and exhibitor information (please quote priority code NPE12050).