From 17th-18th April 2016, Natural & Organic Products Europe trade show celebrated its 20th anniversary in London’s ExCel’s Docklands trade show centre. It has been the largest edition since its inception. According to organizers Diverse Communications, 650 exhibitors from the UK and international organic and natural food, beauty and supplements industry attended the show while visitor numbers reached over 9,000.

The trade show presented four sections: Natural Food (which accounted for around 50% of the exhibition space), Natural Beauty & Spa (30%), Natural Living and Natural Health (20%). A series of lectures and presentations and the Natural & Organic Awards complemented the program. In the food and beauty sections, visitors could vote for their favourite new product launch. There were also several country pavilions, including Bulgaria, the Philippines, Turkey, Poland, the US, Peru, and France.

NOPE is a trend-driven trade show, which was evident in the Natural Food section, reflecting vegan and raw food, coconut products, superfoods and free-from foods, some of the current trends in the food and ingredients sectors:

The special vegan section at the show featured exhibitors such as Veganz, the leading vegan supermarket retailer in Germany, UK brand Sun & Seed, which specializes in nut butter, oils, and grains, and Raw Gorilla, a manufacturer of grain-free, paleo and vegan cereals and snacks. The UK’s Vegan Society and KLBD Kosher Association also had exhibition stands at the show.

Coconut grooves

Many of the coconut brands exhibiting at the trade show were established in the last few years, which reflect the continuing popularity of the coconut trend. The Coconut Company from the UK, founded in 2015, manufactures finished and semi-finished coconut products such as flour, sugar oil, and powder but also coconut vinegar and coconut-based amino acids. Their new Organic Coconut Sap Vinegar range comprises six variants including garlic, chilli & ginger, and Balsamic style.

An innovative take on coconut products came from Mighty Bees, a company established just last year. Certified by Soil Association, Mighty Bees specializes in coconut meat and coconut water; the coconuts used in their products are sourced from Thailand. At the trade show, Mighty Bees presented its recently launched coconut jerky range: dehydrated coconut meat flavoured with various spices. All three jerky variants are raw, vegan and paleo and free from gluten, refined sugar, and dairy products.
And Coconut Collaborative is a young UK company specializing in ice lollies, yoghurts and other dairy alternatives based on coconut milk. The company was launched in 2014; six months ago, the brand entered the French retail market and distribution in Germany will begin next month. Coconut Collaborative presented its new coconut launch: rice puddings and chocolate ganaches.

Keeping it raw

Another food trend much in evidence at the show was raw chocolate. CoCoa from Poland introduced a product range with ten variants of chocolate covered fruits/nuts such as goji berries, mulberries, almonds, inca berries and hazelnuts, banana Brazil nuts, cashews, figs, and raisins. The company also presented five raw chocolate bars made with goji berries: Almond Cappucino Mulberry, Acai Cherry, Classic Bitter and 70% Pecans.
Conscious is another raw chocolate brand based in the UK with a product range comprising 15 gluten/dairy/soy-free chocolate bars that are sweetened with agave nectar, and ingredients such as chili, coconut chips, cranberries, mint, goji or orange. A more unusual variant is Wild at Heart, which is manufactured with 65% cocoa mass and also includes maca powder, vanilla, and blue-green algae.

Roo Bar from the Netherlands had a large exhibition stand. The company’s vegan/kosher/gluten-free Roo Bars are based on fruits and nuts and already have a wide distribution across Europe. At NOPE the brand introduced two new product ranges: the six-sku raw Roo Balls range based on various fruits and nuts, such as cashew and dates; and the second new range is Kookie Cat, five-vegan cashew-and-oat based cookies that are available in 5 variants.

The UK’s Raw Chocolate Co sells superfoods powders such as acai, goji, raw cocoa, hemp and lucuma, raw berries goji and mulberries, chia, coconut sugar, cocoa nibs and hemp seeds. Also, the company offers a 7-sku range of raw chocolate covered nuts and dried fruits and eight chocolate bars with various ingredients including lemon, mint, orange, and hazelnut.

Super convenient

Large superfoods exhibitors at the show included Sunfoods from the US. The firm’s portfolio offers powders and berries. Last year the brand launched a unique superfoods body care line consisting of shampoo, conditioner and body wash which are all formulated with superfood-based ingredients complexes and plant extracts.

UK tea brand Pukka Herbs also presented a new launch: the Turmeric revolution range includes Turmeric Gold tea blended with lemon tulsi leaf, turmeric supplement capsules and a turmeric muscle and joint massage oil. Turmeric Gold received the Natural & Organic Europe Award in the Best New Drinks category.

The UK’s Creative Nature Superfoods’ latest product launch combines the two key trends convenience and free-from: Chia & Cocoa and Chia & Mulberry. The two superfoods muffin baking mixes are organic, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free and wheat-free. Arborea Foods, a first-time UK-based exhibitor, introduced energy bars and other products with the baru nut, an exquisite zinc rich almond, that grows exclusively in the Cerrado savannah, which covers a large part of central Brazil.
The next Natural & Organic Products Europe trade show will take place 2nd-3rd April 2017.