Natural & Organic Products Europe 2014 bid farewell to London’s Olympia in April, with its biggest ever edition securing another record turnout. Organised by Diversified Communications UK, the two-day annual trade show welcomed 9,503 industry professionals from 77 countries through its doors over 13-14 April.

Now in its 18th year, the sold out show featured 550 exhibiting companies and enjoyed a 20% rise in international visitors, while total unique attendees (excluding revisits) grew 8% compared to 8,810 in 2013. Significantly, the surge in footfall has been backed by glowing testimonials from across the show floor.

“There couldn’t have been a better way to say goodbye to Olympia than with an excellent show packed full of interesting new products, great networking opportunities and a vibrant atmosphere,” commented Richard Anderton, a buyer from leading wholesaler The Health Store.

“It was really busy and there were lots of new and interesting products that I want to take on,” said Sally Eveleigh, owner of Toucan Foods, recently named Best Independent Retailer at The Natural and Organic Awards 2014.

Renowned for attracting top buyers from across the health, nutrition, beauty, natural living, and food and drink categories, the show’s aisles were packed with a ‘“who’s who” of the retail sector, plus thousands of independent retailers and foodservice buyers, distributors, wholesalers and importers.

Carol Dunning, Natural & Organic Products Europe’s event manager, said: “From the moment the doors opened this year, the aisles were full and the enthusiasm and excitement was energising. We are delighted that so many exhibitors, and visitors, are calling this year’s edition their best show yet – so we really couldn’t ask for a better result,” she said.

“We’ve had a fabulous two days,” said Soo Cieszynska, sales & managing director at Global By Nature. “And most importantly, we’ve made so many great new contacts.”

“This show has been the busiest I’ve known,” said Mike Batten, director of Venture Foods.

“It’s been incredibly successful.  We’re launching in thousands of stores thanks to this show. We fully intend coming back next year and every year thereafter – it’s been a great show for us,” said Jessica Mulligan, VP sales & marketing at NeoCell Corporation.

New Product Showcase popular with buyers

The show’s New Product Showcase was a hive of activity and for the first port of call for many visiting buyers. Featuring a record total of 320 entries for 2014 (up 8% from 2013), showcase visitors voted for their favourites on 13 April. The winning exhibitors were presented with their trophies by TV presenter Julia Bradbury at the industry’s prestigious Natural and Organic Awards later that night.

This year’s winning products included Vanilla Choc Chip Protein Bar by Pulsin’ (food); beyond Raw Organic Blueberry Bar by Pulsin (organic food); CoYo Coconut Yoghurt Vanilla distributed by Marigold Health Foods (special diet); Oi Ocha by Unione Trading UK (drink); Red Yeast Rice 600mg by Natures Aid (health & nutrition); NeoCell Keratin Hair Volumizer by NeoCell Corporation (natural beauty & spa); and Children’s Strawberry Toothpaste by Kingfisher Natural Toothpaste (natural living & home).

A brilliant line-up of big-name speakers and top retailers made this year’s three theatre seminar programme its best to date. As well as top figures from the natural health world, such as Patrick Holford and Dr Marilyn Glenville – each pulling in big crowds – there were fast-paced business-focused sessions, lively panel discussions, and a tour de force of a talk from organic and Fairtrade pioneer Craig Sams.

 Thanks to an exciting new partnership with the Natural Health Magazine Beauty Awards for 2014, the show also played host to the Natural Health Beauty Awards ceremony for the first time. Exhibitors were among the lucky winners, including Antipodes (Kinetic Natural Products Distributor), Urban Veda, Dr Bronner’s Magic Soaps (also for Kinetic), Green People, and Madara (Australis).

Around 40% of exhibitors demonstrated their continued support for the growth of the show by reserving stand space for 2015 at the new venue of the ExCeL London.