Big buyers out in force at Natural & Organic Products Europe 2018
Europe’s biggest natural & organic trade event welcomes over 10,000 attendees
The world’s appetite for natural and organic has never been bigger and it’s still growing. That’s the message from Natural & Organic Products Europe trade show, which welcomed 10,039 attendees from 91 countries to its London ExCeL venue last week, on 22-23 April.
Fantastic, diverse, informative, useful, busy, inspirational and fun – are just some of the words visitors have used to describe the two day event, which featured a record 700+ exhibiting companies showcasing the biggest and best choice of natural and organic products (including VMS, superfoods, personal care and beauty, eco home/living, and food and drink).
Those visitors included 1000s of independent stores, multiples, pharmacies, restaurants, cafes, contract caterers, hotels, salons and spas. Plus senior buyers and decision makers from some of the UK and Europe’s biggest retailers, wholesalers and distributors – including Amazon, Boots, Holland & Barrett, Aldi, Lidl, M&S, Waitrose, Ocado, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Superdrug, Nisa, TK Maxx, John Lewis, Whole Foods Market, Infinity Foods, Planet Organic, NBTY Europe, CLF Distribution, The Health Store, Suma, Revital, Costco Wholesale, BigGreenSmile, Health Stores Wholesale, Booths, Abel & Cole, As Nature Intended, Feelunique, Lloyds Pharmacy, John Bell & Croyden, Day Lewis Group, Asda Pharmacy, Victoria Health, Fenwick, Lovelula, Neals Yard Remedies, Bodykind, Sodexo, Brakes, Gateretail, Eurostar, The Grocery, Whitbread, Oxfam, Life Europe, REWE, Allergikost, Sunkost Kjede, Monoprix, Bio c’ Bon, Rawrganic, and Dagsmeja.
Notably, nearly one in four visitors (23%) cited a corporate spend of over £500k – up from just one in ten last year (11%). While number of top-level company representatives, including owners, CEOs, MDs and managers, with a spending power of £100-500k also doubled – from 7% to 14%.
The industry’s favourite show
It’s a testament to Natural & Organic Products Europe’s continuing success, that it’s already firmly established as essential diary date for keeping up-to-date with the latest retail trends and new natural and organic innovations that you can’t see or sample anywhere else. It’s a strong USP backed by a bank of glowing testimonials, which get better with each passing year.
“A fantastic show that gets better each year. Natural & Organic Products Europe is our go-to show for new products. It’s a great place to meet new brands, discover what is happening in the industry and to discuss new trends,” says Ben Wigley, cofounder of BigGreenSmile.com.
“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.
“Natural & Organic Products Europe 2018 allowed us to identify new and exciting trends, suppliers and innovation for the UK market across a number of different product areas,” says Nick Duly, juice and dairy alternatives buyer at Sainsbury’s.
“It’s a very useful networking event, and a great way to give smaller start up brands a chance to showcase to their target market,” says Waitrose buyer Sophie Maunder.
“With each edition, every year, Natural & Organic Products Europe just keeps getting bigger and better,” comments event director Carol Dunning.
“It’s always such an amazing two days, as we get to witness just how dynamic and innovative this industry continues to be. From the flagship brands through to the fledglings that are getting their chance to launch to the market, from our visitors, associations and friends, whose incredible support makes the show so successful, NPE truly is the biggest and best platform for uniting this industry and is such an incredible highlight of the year for everyone involved.
“I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Natural Products team to say a big Thank You for making this year such a fantastic show. These are very exciting times for natural and organic and I cannot wait until next year’s show already!” she says.
Hundreds of this year’s exhibitors will also be back at the show when it returns to ExCeL on 7-8 April, with a record 65% having already rebooked their stands. They include Fruu Cosmetics, Urtekram, Weleda UK, Dead Sea Spa Magik, Urban Veda, Ultraglow, Beauty Without Cruelty, Léa Nature, Cress, Nourish London, Wild Nutrition, Viridian Nutrition, BioCare, Motion Nutrition, Living Planet Distribution, BetterYou, Terranova, Nature’s Garden, Higher Nature, Hodmedod, Perkier Foods, Northern Bloc, GreenVie Foods, Alara Wholefoods, Happy Cheeze, Wisdom Natural Brands, Loving Earth, Heath & Heather, Suma Wholefoods, Infinity Wholefoods, Marigold Health Foods, WheyHey, Natural Balance Foods, Bounce Foods, and Sonnentor.
Show stopping highlights
This year’s show features and pavilions included two New Product Showcases, Vegan World, The Organic Hub hosted by the Soil Association & Organic Trade Board, Soil Association’s Organic Beauty pavilion, Organic Peru, Demeter Biodynamic, Demeter Italy, Austria, Armenia, Ecuador, Thailand, Spain (Galicia region), Sri Lanka, Mezzogiorno – Southern Italian Food, Dio Greece, Epirus, and South Aegean.
Alongside the show’s bustling exhibition, the three theatres were a hive of activity throughout. Highlights included standing-room only Keynotes and panel debates featuring chief executives and senior managers from the Soil Association, Organic Trade Board, Daylesford, Ocado, Ecovia Intelligence, Weleda, and Antipodes, plus Zac Goldsmith MP, organic pioneer Craig Sams, Dr Marilyn Glenville, Vogue’s former beauty editor Anna-Marie Solowij and Millie Kendall MBE – founders of BeautyMart.
“It was wonderful to be at the show, to see the sheer diversity of products, and energy and enthusiasm from producers from around the world. And, I hugely enjoyed the informed and intelligent questions put to me in my own session on the stage,” says Zac Goldsmith, Conservative MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston.
The Innovation Pitch Live to Holland & Barrett, featuring the company’s CEO Peter Aldis and members of his senior executive buying team, was also back on the menu for a third year running.
Their session, which saw six shortlisted exhibitors take to the stage to present their latest ‘must-have’ innovations – pulled in a record audience of buyers and brands. Three of them – Fruu Cosmetics, Turmeric Vitality and Weed & Wonderful, are now one step closer to a potential listing with one of the largest health and wellness retailers in Europe.
Peter Aldis, CEO for Holland & Barrett International, said: “As a business that has become known for bringing innovative trends to the high street, we were delighted to get the opportunity for another live pitch session at this year’s Natural & Organic Products Europe.
“The quality of the 100 plus brands who made up the shortlist was the highest it has ever been, and we’re excited to progress further with the three business owners we felt offered something special and on-trend that could add to the range in Holland & Barrett stores across the UK.”
Other show highlights included new initiatives like Shop Talk in partnership with the NAHS/bira, practical retailing sessions featuring leading independent health store owners (Sanjay Patel, Alan Martin, Len Glenville and Melanie Beard), and the announcement of the Thirty under 30 list – designed to celebrate the rising stars of the sector, hosted by Natural Products News.
As in previous years, Jim Manson, editor in chief of Natural Products Global and Natural Products News, was 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 health food store revenues rose an average 4.8% in 2017, while 61% of stores reported increased footfall.
Manson commented: “Vegan and vegetarian is the category tipped to deliver strongest growth in 2018, while changing shopping habits – people buying less, more frequently – is seen as the biggest business opportunity, as shoppers return to local high streets.
“What’s really striking, given the current uncertain economic climate, is that 61% of independent health food retailers say they are more optimistic than they were 12 months ago. With 40% of owners expecting to expand or refurbish their stores in the next three years, and 26% planning on opening a second store, our survey shows that business confidence in the specialist heath food channel remains high.”
And the winners are…
Show visitors were also among the first to hear the results of the Natural Beauty Retail Awards and the show’s Natural & Organic Europe Awards.
Viridian Nutrition, BetterYou, The Cheeky Panda, Apiagro, Ombar Chocolate, Remedy Drinks UK, Nush Foods, Healthy Food Brands, Green People, Inika Organic, Alteya Organics, The Konjac Sponge Company, and The YES YES Company, were among the ‘Best New’ product winners at the Natural & Organic Europe Awards.
Leading independent retailers Planet Organic and Apothecary 27 were named Best Independent Multiple Retailer and Best Independent Retailer Award respectively. While Sara Novakovic, founder of Oliver’s Wholefood Store, took home the Natural Products Outstanding Achievement Award.
Natural Beauty Retail Awards recipients included Waitrose, LoveLula, Holland & Barrett, Amaranth, and Earth Mother Soul Sister.
For further information about the awards, please visit: www.naturalproducts.co.uk/natural-organic-awards-europe-2018-winners-announced.
A full show review will also be available in the May issue of Natural Products News.
Save the date for 2019
The next edition of Natural & Organic Products Europe will take place on 7-8 April 2019 at ExCeL London. For more information, please visit www.naturalproducts.co.uk.
Media enquiries & photo requests to:
Emma-Louise Jones, Head of PR
t: +44 (0)1273 645134
Vicky Holman, Group Marketing Manager
t: +44 (0)1273 645117
Exhibitor enquiries to:
Carol Dunning, Event Director
t: +44 (0)1273 645126