Whether it’s down to health, environmental factors, or sustainability, the ‘clean-label’ movement shows no signs of abating.  Retailers and buyers wishing to take advantage of this growing trend will find a host of innovative ‘clean-label’ VMS and health products at this year’s Natural & Organic Products Europe show, which returns to London ExCeL on 22-23 April.

According to Mintel, ‘products will need to satisfy an even greater number of requirements to meet consumers and regulators demands as expectations for clean labels evolve’. Rising demand for more natural and clean label products has kept Natural & Organic Products Europe well ahead of the curve since it first launched in 1997. The show is renowned for showcasing the best choice of certified organic, GMO-free, vegan, vegetarian, and sustainable health and wellness innovations from around the world, and this year is no exception.

Transparency and traceability

“We think of ‘clean labels’ with our foods, and demand in ever-increasing measure the food attributes that matter most to us, for example organic certification, third party certifications, and other indicia demonstrating full traceability,” says Jeffery Brams, VP of international business and science at Garden of Life.

He explains: “Our consumers are buying our products specifically to enhance their health and wellbeing.  It’s critically important that they see us delivering on that promise with fewer, simpler, and more familiar ingredients rather than pharma chemicals. Our customers increasingly expect this to be our industry’s definition of clean label and they deserve it.”

What differentiates the local healthy food and supplement retailer is, in part, its ability to form meaningful customer relationships through educated and passionate employees

“The best retailers are seeing their new role as curators of the ‘best in health’, and their stores are becoming trusted environments for this. Nothing speaks to this need better than traceability. Certifications such as organic, non-GMO, kosher/halal, vegan, and Informed Choice all provide consumers the assurances of clean, traceable ingredients and provide retailers a unique advantage.”

The Soil Association’s recent organic market report reveals that the ‘UK organic market is now in its fifth year of strong growth and worth £2.09 billion’, with the organic beauty and wellbeing sector worth £61.2 million.

This strong growth in organic is well represented across the show floor (including across health, food and beauty). G&G Vitamins, Treat Me Nice UK, Vidya Europe, Motion Nutrition, KIKI Health, Lifeplan Products, Living Planet, Garden of Life, and Pukka Herbs are just a few certified organic health brands on offer for 2018.

Clean-label innovations

Health and wellness exhibitors like Wild Nutrition, A.Vogel Herbal Remedies, Coyne Healthcare, BioCare, Natures Aid, Terranova, The Naked Pharmacy, Wiley’s Finest, and Viridian Nutrition – who have been advocates of clean-label vitamins, minerals, nutrition powders, and supplements for a number of years – will all be promoting their latest offerings at the show.

Viridian Nutrition is launching its Nordic Forest Blend Wild Chaga and Raw Cacao beverages, whilst Natures Aid is introducing its new range of vegan probiotics and MCT Oil.  Wiley’s Finest is showcasing its new Wiley’s Finest Bold Vision, and Vidya Europe is promoting its new 95% Organic Turmeric Extract, Organic Ashwagandha Extract, and Organic Moringa Oil.  Other new health products to see include:  Wild Nutrition’s new Turmaforte Full Spectrum Turmeric, Vitae Natural Nutrition’s Vitadigest Enzymes, Optibac’s daily immunity probiotics, Coyne Healthcare’s Bio-Curcumin, and Origine 8 – The Complete Green Tea Extract, and Enzymedica UK is launching Acid-Soothe.

“Viridian has been ‘clean label’ since we started nearly 20 years ago. A push for clean-label – covering provenance of ingredients, manufacturing aids/excipients, GM and animal testing – has been a long time coming in the supplements industry,” says Cheryl Thallon, MD of Viridian Nutrition.

“Clean ingredients and full-declaration clean label is what we should expect to find on supplements sold in health food stores. Clean label gives a clear point of difference for the specialist stores versus the mass market,” she says.

Elizabeth Adams, e-commerce buyer at bodykind, agrees that customers are actively researching and becoming much more informed about green washing: “I would say that it’s an equal measure of certifications and ingredients. It is especially important that labelling is clear and that all ingredients are listed in supplements. I make sure we don’t work with any brands that green wash. Despite the importance of certifications, I think ingredients will always trump certificates, as it’s what you are putting in your body,” she says.

As well as the certified health products on offer, there are many sustainably-sourced, free from, natural health and wellness brands – with transparency of ingredients at the core – making their debut at the show.

These include: Biodane Pharma A/S (dietary supplements, Bionativa (organic hemp), Brabetz Holding (dissolving tablet supplements), Alkanatur Drops (alkaline water filter), CBD Health Foods (Canabidol – CBD oil), Equisalud (natural supplements), Georganics (oral healthcare), Love Life Supplements (nutritional supplements and powders), Oliveleaf (chaga, hemp and turmeric oils, powders and capsules), Treat Me Nice (magnesium products), Vital Proteins (collagen based supplements), Wunder Workshop (Ayurvedic inspired turmeric supplements and teas), and many more.

To view the initial exhibitor list, visit www.naturalproducts.co.uk/exhibitor-list

“More and more questions are being asked about the source of the ingredients e.g. where are the herbs actually from and how are they farmed, what fish is in the fish oil and where do they come from, and how are they ensuring sustainability? These are all types of questions that manufacturers should be prepared for and able to give a good answer to”, says nutritional therapist Shona Wilkinson, who’ll be facilitating a panel discussion about ‘ingredients for success’ in the Natural Products Talks Theatre on opening day.

“I think this is a great trend and it’s good to see consumer demand putting pressure on manufacturers to up their game as far as clean labelling and transparency is concerned.  We are in the health industry and it is our duty to only provide supplements for our consumers that are healthy, effective and good for us as well as the planet,” she says.

Natural & Organic Products Europe 2018 – Register for a free trade pass

Natural & Organic Products Europe – Europe’s biggest natural and organic trade event – returns to London ExCeL on 22-23 April.

To register for a free advance trade ticket, visit www.naturalproducts.co.uk

Bio Eco Actual, International Organic Newspaper
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