Natural Food Show – the UK’s only dedicated trade event for natural and organic food and drink returns to London ExCeL on 2-3 April with over 400 exhibiting companies.
Growing consumer awareness in sustainability, provenance, authenticity, artisan methods, and local sourcing, has been a big driving force behind the rise in natural, organic, and special diet food producers entering the UK market in recent years.
This increase in product choice has, in turn, only further increased people’s expectations for high quality, good value all-natural food and drink (that matches their lifestyle needs). And it’s far from a passing food fad. Almost half of consumers (47%) now want food to be all-natural (up from 44% in 2015), according to findings by Euromonitor.
Such numbers make the natural food sector a hugely lucrative, if competitive, marketplace. Being quick to adapt to emerging food trends and keeping up-to-date with new product developments is key. And thousands of retail buyers and foodservice operators come to the Natural Food Show at Natural & Organic Products Europe to do just that (over 10,200 attended in 2016).
“I think more and more the consumer is looking at ethics to make their own choices. The consumer is critical and more demanding, wanting to know what is in his food and where it comes from. This show responds to these demands” says celebrated chef (and previous speaker) Raymond Blanc.
Part of Natural & Organic Products Europe (which features over 700 exhibitors in total), one of the Natural Food Show’s biggest selling points is its comprehensive array of new products. Hundreds of new launches (UK and international) are timed specifically to coincide with the event, ensuring visiting retailers can stay up-to-date with emerging trends.
What’s hot for 2017?
“One of the most striking features of recent shows, and 2017 confirms the trend, is the way we’ve been moving rapidly away from having one dominant ‘big idea’ about natural food – organic or wholefoods, for example – to something more pluralistic. So we have seen an explosion of food and nutrition trends and ideas – think ‘clean’, raw, gluten-free, Paleo, alkaline, vegan and so on,” comments Jim Manson, editor of leading industry publication Natural Products News, who will be speaking at the show.
“Perhaps the biggest story is in plant-based foods – and I think we can expect plant-based to be a big feature of new product development in 2017. ‘Healthy convenience’ is also a phrase that we’ll be hearing more of as consumers demand on-the-go foods made from healthier ingredients. Fermented foods are still firmly on-trend, and ‘slow release energy’ is an increasingly seen claim. Low-sugar products are also still on the rise,” he says.
All of the above and more will be available at the show. Here’s just a taste of some of latest new product developments:
- Cofresh Snack Foods is launching its first certified organic range of Eat Real lentil chips, hummus chips and veggie straws. Gluten free, vegan and free of all the declarable allergens, the hummus and lentil also has no added sugars.
- Gregory’s Tree is launching its Blueberry & Raspberry Double Fruit Twists. These organic and gluten free snack bars are only 60 calories each.
- Easy Bean is launching its Seaweed & Sesame Chickpea Crispbread. Handmade using chickpea flour and locally-sourced butter and buttermilk, it is seasoned with mineral-rich native seaweed and topped with toasted sesame seeds.
- Eat Grub bar is a new addition to the on-the-go snack market, with a difference. Its special ingredient is cricket powder, which is high in protein, iron and calcium, and contains all nine essential amino acids. The 36g bars are available in Cranberry and Orange, and Coconut and Cacao.
- The Good Crisp Company has developed a new natural alternative to the popular Pringles canister crisp. Available in Original, Sour Cream & onion, and BBQ (160g), they are certified gluten-free, GMO free, with no artificial flavours or colours.
- Organic Young Jackfruit is a new, unprocessed, nutritious vegan meat alternative from Essential Trading. The fibrous savoury fruit chunks (full of vitamins and minerals) absorb flavours and mimic the texture of meat – especially pulled pork.
- Omnivita, the sole UK supplier of Bragg health foods, is showcasing Bragg’s new Organic Apple Cider Vinegar & Honey Blend (473ml). Raw and unfiltered, it contains the ‘mother’ of vinegar, and Nature’s Organic honey.
- Pure Nature is showcasing The Heart of Nature range of 100% natural Pure Grain bread (baked without flour or yeast). It’s available in original, and with the addition of cranberries, prunes or black cumin.
- Halo Coco is showcasing its coconut milk based fruit drinks (pineapple and vanilla). Each 330ml carton is dairy, lactose and wheat free and is only 106 kcal.
- One Earth Organics is launching four superfood and botanical blends for adults – Green Goodness, Shine Bright, Coco Gogo and Rejuvenate Your Soul, plus two blends that children will also enjoy – Chocolate Dream and Vanilla Zilla.
- Pep & Lekker is a new vegan brand selling all natural, gluten free soup (350g serving, with 30g hand-baked nutty seed bites). The three soup flavours include Gleaming Gold, Ravishing Red, and Gorgeous Green, plus Beautiful Broth, which supports natural detoxification.
- BioNaturae, distributed by Sacla’, is showcasing its new organic, vegan range based on Mopur; an ingredient made with naturally-fermented organic wheat, chickpeas and olive oil. The range includes: deli slices, burgers, filled pasta and pasta sauce.
- Vegus Foods is showcasing its Wheatgrass Juice and unique Broccoli Sprout Juice, grown on its farm in Ireland. Ambient, with a long shelf life, they are available in 30ml single serving tubes.
- Kinomi Nuts is showcasing its organic range of premium nuts. Flavoured with their signature gluten free soy glaze and sprinkled with experimental herbs, products include: Pika Pika Pecans, Waku Waku Cashews, and Pori Pori Almonds.
There will also be plenty of new innovations to see and sample from market-leading brands like Tree of Life UK, Suma Wholefoods, Community Foods, Infinity Foods, Clearspring, Alara Wholefoods, Meridian Foods, Marigold Health Foods, Creative Nature, Windmill Organics, Planet Organic, Rude Health, Inspiral Visionary Products, James White Drinks, Bravura Foods, Booja-Booja, Pukka Herbs, The Metropolitan Tea Co, Tyrrells Potato Chips and Alpro.
New show features & speakers
It’s not just the exhibitors at The Natural Food Show that promises to draw in the crowds for 2017. The newest additions to the Natural Food Kitchen line-up include nutritionists Christine Bailey, Oliver McCabe, and Nicky Clinch, Icelandic chef Solla Eiríksdóttir, Dr Rupy Aujla from The Doctor’s Kitchen (the show’s first GP chef), Gill Meller, head chef at River Cottage, and celebrated Italian chefs and restaurateurs Francesco Mazzei and Aldo Zilli.
Plus, Ella Woodward, founder of the popular food blog ‘Deliciously Ella’, Dale Pinnock (the Medicinal Chef), Craig Sams (co-founder of Green & Black’s and Whole Earth foods), the Soil Association and the OTB will all be hosting sessions in the Natural Products Talks Theatre.
There will also be two New Product Showcases, international pavilions from Italy, Mezzogiorno – Southern Italian Food, Demeter Italy, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Turkey, Greece, France, and the USA, and new Vegan World area (in association with the Vegan Society). The returning Growing Organic Together pavilion – hosted by the Soil Association & Organic Trade Board, is now 65% bigger and boasts a prominent new location at the front of the show.
“Newness is crucial to our business, and nowhere in the UK is there more innovation that is relevant to my business than this show,” says Al Overton, head of buying at Planet Organic.
“The Natural Food Show is an exciting event that Pret’s food team always looks forward to attending. It’s always brimming with ideas and inspiration,” says Caroline Cromar, group director of food at Pret A Manger.
Register for a free trade pass
The Natural Food Show at Natural & Organic Products Europe returns to London ExCeL on 2-3 April 2017. For more information and to register for a free ticket, please visit www.naturalproducts.co.uk