Over 700 exhibitors, 70 speakers, and 10,571 attendees from 92 countries – that’s the top line figures from this year’s Natural & Organic Products Europe trade show, which won rave reviews from across the natural and organic world last week (2-3 April).
Confirming its position as the leading European show for natural and organic products (including health, food and beauty), the 2017 event – its 21st edition – attracted its biggest attendance yet to London ExCeL.
As in previous years, queues of enthusiastic visitors marked the start of the show. By the time doors closed, it had welcomed top 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 – all looking to discover what’s new and next at this vibrant, international, industry showcase.
“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.
“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!” says Sarah Lawrence, buying manager – foodservice channel at Leathams.
“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.
Thanks to glowing testimonials like these and significant year-on-year growth in attendance (up 13% since the move to ExCeL in 2015), a record 65% of exhibitors have already rebooked for next year – when Natural & Organic Products Europe returns to London ExCeL on 22-23 April 2018. Many are already preparing to take bigger stands.
Event director Carol Dunning says the support from the industry has been ‘phenomenal’, calling the 2017 show a record-breaker in every respect: “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.
Holland & Barrett, Amazon, Boots, Aldi, Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Ocado, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Superdrug, Lloyds Pharmacy, John Lewis, Whole Foods Market, Infinity Foods, Planet Organic, The Health Store, Suma, Revital, Harrods, TK Maxx, John Bell & Croyden, Debenhams, Abel & Cole, Costco, Bidfood, Marston’s, Côte Restaurants, Tossed, Compass Group, BaxterStorey, Sodexo, Elior, Aramark, Fenwick, Hilton, LoveLula, Victoria Health, Feelunique, The Natural Dispensary, The Hut Group, BigGreenSmile, GNC, NBTY, CLF Distribution, Simply Wild, Bio-Planet, Axfood, Helsemin, Biofood, Udea, Ruohonjuuri Oy, and Life Europe were among this year’s visitors.
Exhibitors celebrate successful show
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.
Summing up their exhibitor experience, Viridian Nutrition’s MD Cheryl Thallon (winner of this year’s Natural Products Outstanding Achievement Award), says: “Natural & Organic Products Europe just gets better every year.” And she’s been exhibiting at the show since it launched in 1997.
“I took a stroll around the hall early one morning, and was so impressed with the quality and quantity of food, supplements, and body care on offer. The sophistication of branding and communication has taken a huge leap forward and, as a retailer and supplier, I am so pleased to be part of the maturing natural products movement,” she says.
“We had our single busiest show this year and we have been exhibiting for many years. There was a distinctive buzz of excitement on the Vegan World pavilion. 2017 is most definitely the year for natural, organic, veggie and vegan products,” says Lisa Gawthorne, director at Bravura Foods.
“The two days of the show went by in a flash, a veritable flurry of inquiries and contacts that left us reeling and asking: where did the time go? We are heading home with a treasure trove of new business contacts and cannot wait for the next show,” says Sonia White, founder of LoveLula Boutique.
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 are 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.
Catherine Fookes, campaign manager at The Organic Trade Board, says: “Natural & Organic Products Europe is hugely successful at bringing together the future trends and innovation of the organic market. It’s a fantastic place to discover new organic brands and members.”
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.
“This is a great show for buyers to connect with brands that are at the forefront of this growing industry,” says Daniel Galvin Jnr, who was also exhibiting in the Natural Beauty & Spa section for the first time.
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 remains a key highlight in the calendar year and is a great platform for us all to come together as a unified industry, to continue to support everyone to benefit from a healthy and happy future – naturally,” says regular show speaker Dr Marilyn Glenville.
Jim Manson, editor in chief of Natural Products News, was also back discussing key retail trends in the independent health food trade, with the results of the annual ‘Health Check’ survey.
The latest findings show that 78% of the health food retailers polled saw footfall rise in 2016, while 61% said that average customer spend had risen over the previous 12 months.
According to Manson: “Digestive health, sleep & energy, and stress & anxiety took the top three places in product categories said to be the biggest drivers of sales. Vegan, supplements & remedies, and Organic were the categories identified as showing the greatest potential for future growth.
“The report also confirms that the category split in at a typical health store continues to shift and change. Food, the biggest single category in terms of total selling space, grew to 40% (37% in 2016), while supplements account for 27% of shelf space – continuing an upward trend,” he said.
The show also saw the successful launch of Natural Products Global, a new international news portal by Diversified Communications UK, the event’s organiser and publisher of Natural Products News. Plus, the announcement of the winners of this year’s Natural & Organic Awards Europe.
‘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. For the full results, please visit www.naturalproducts.co.uk/natural-organic-awards-europe-2017-winners-announced.
A full show review will be available in the May issue of Natural Products News.
Save the date for 2018
The next edition of Natural & Organic Products Europe will take place on 22-23 April 2018 at ExCeL London. For more information, please visit www.naturalproducts.co.uk.
Exhibitor enquiries to:
Carol Dunning, Event Director
t: +44 (0)1273 645125
e: [email protected]
High resolution images are available upon request:
Diversified Communications UK Ltd (Diversified UK) is a fast growing trade event organiser and publisher based in Brighton, Peterborough, and Nailsworth. Diversified UK’s portfolio includes Natural & Organic Products Europe; Natural Products Scandinavia & Nordic Organic Food Fair in Malmö, Sweden; Natural Products News; Natural Beauty News; Natural & Organic Awards; Casual Dining; lunch!; Commercial Kitchen; SITS – The Service Desk & IT Support Show; Accountex; British Tourism & Travel Show; Geo Business; Ocean Business; MARELEC Marine Electromagnetics conference; Euro Bus Expo; Coach & Bus UK; Route One; Coach Monthly; The Route One Operator Excellence Awards; and British Coach Tourism Awards. For more information, visit: www.divcom.co.uk.
Diversified UK is part of Diversified Communications, a leading international media company providing market access, education and information through global, national and regional face–to–face events, digital and print publications and television stations. Diversified serves a number of industries including: seafood, food service, natural and organic, healthcare, commercial marine, and business management. Based in Portland, Maine, USA, Diversified employs over 850 staff, across eight divisions in seven countries. For more information, visit: www.divcom.com.