Each year I am honoured to be asked to attend the Natural & Organic Products Europe Show as member of the press. When I first started attending the show, it was held in Olympia and I always felt it was a little cramped but the past few years, since the show has been moved to Excel London, it is by far my favourite show to attend. Last week was show day and my press pass and I were ready to rock and roll.
Natural & Organic Products Europe Show is Europe’s biggest trade show for natural products – making it the ‘must attend’ event for buyers of everything from natural healthcare products, natural and organic foods, through to natural personal care and eco-household products. This year over 10,500 people attended the show with over 700 exhibitors. But it isn't just stalls. There are demonstrations, speakers, awards and much more.
As always at these shows, my day starts with a trip to the press office. This is incredibly important (and fun!) because here is where we, as press, pick up our press packs. Press packs contain press releases from the exhibitors, samples for review and any important information that we need in order to write articles like this one!
The Natural & Organic Products Europe Show is very well organised and each member of the show staff, whether in the press room or out and about in the show, is helpful and friendly. The show is a trade only event and this allows visitors and other exhibitors alike to look at new trends, new brands on the market and new innovations.
As you walk in you are given a branded cloth tote bag and a show guide. These two items are very useful. The show guide becomes your bible for the day and the bag becomes a life line for all the samples, business cards and leaflets.
The show is split into 4 sections: Natural Food, Natural Beauty & Spa, Natural Living and Natural Health. Naturally being a food writer, I always head to the Natural Food area and I don't mind admitting, I do spend most of my day here!
This year there was a plethora of allergy free foods. As my youngest daughter has Coeliac disease and is also lactose intolerant, this area of natural food is very close to my heart.
The Natural Food Kitchen, was probably my favourite area. We were lucky to be able to grab a seat for the Jay Morjaria cooking demonstration. As usual, he was informative, funny and inspires us devout meat eaters to get stuck in and eat more vegetarian food.
Whilst walking around and talking to various business owners and testing or sampling their products, I discovered a few really fantastic stand out brands.
Bravura Foods were probably the friendliest and happiest people we met all day. During the show they brought Captain Kombucha to our attention. A unbelievably delicious sparkling probiotic drink from Portugal. We were extremely pleased to hear that they also won the 'Best New Organic Product 2017' at the show too. A well worthy winner!
ZooT Foods were my other favourites at the show. Once again happy staff, friendly, knew their product inside out and not only did they show us around their stall and seemed really pleased to talk to us but they followed this up a week later with a press pack in the post which was full of full size samples and more press information. This is a brand who really knows how to market their product and why wouldn't they? Everything we tried was delicious even if it was gluten free, no added sugar and no other nasties. It just proves you can make free from foods taste good! I particularly liked both the dark and milk chocolate (you would not know this was free from added sugar or gluten free at all) and also the Coconut Bliss and the Banana Choc Chip. Well done ZooT. A full review will be coming next week on my blog.
Another drink also shone brightly at the show and this was Mahtay, a yerba maté infused natural energy tea. Not only was the drink delicious but also it really gave me a lift after walking all around the show all day! We were told by the approachable and knowledgeable women who were in charge of the stall that there was the same amount of 'lift' in one of the Mahtay tea as an espresso coffee.
RiceUp! Another stand out brand had every ingredient for an excellent stand. With clear press information, approachable and informative staff and a good range products to see and to sample. The sour cream and chive brown rice chips were incredibly tasty. Crisp, good flavour and texture, perfect for dipping. The Italian cheese and olive oil brown rice rolls were also delicious and the whole family found themselves snacking on these. At half the fat of normal snacks, gluten free and not made by frying either. A pat on the back for RiceUp!
This years show was by far the best in all the years we have been, with all round excellent organisation, a great reception for trade visitors and press alike and fantastic demonstrations. Well done Natural & Organic Products Europe. I look forward to seeing you all again next year!