News for Retailers

Special awards unveiled for Ireland's Vitality show

A line-up of special awards for retailers and suppliers has been announced in the run-up to Vitality Expo 2018 at the RDS Dublin in September. Health Stores Ireland and Better Retailing Magazine have launched five retailer awards and an industry Best Product award.

Awards for independent retailers who trade as health food or wholefood stores will be presented under five categories. Written submissions of up to 500 words should outline their achievements under each heading with a closing date of May 31. Find out more here...

Vitality Expo 2018 is set to become an annual showcase for the health food sector and will have a strong consumer focus. Event partner INM will offer a high-level national media platform for the industry.

The industry awards evening will be hosted by a celebrity MC at a special venue close to the exhibition hall, providing an integral industry element to Vitality Expo. All trade and exhibitor attendees will be invited to attend, providing an opportunity to network and meet up with old friends in a casual setting. The awards will also provide a platform for various strands of the industry to highlight their unique standing within their sector.

The Health Stores Ireland Best Product Award In Association with Better Retailing Magazine will be shortlisted from products submitted by retailers under Rude Health's "Tried and Tested" series.

In addition, the Pat Curran Award for Excellence in Customer Service will be run in association with our sister magazine, Rude Health, whose readers will vote for their favourite health store staff based on the level of customer service they've received.

Bursary time for students

Bio-Kult is again giving one student the chance to win £1000 to help them achieve their nutritional career goals. And this year the winner’s college will receive a £500 grant too.

Students currently studying in the field of Nutrition should go to to complete the online application form and tell Bio-Kult:

  • How £1000 would help you to make your mark on the world of Nutrition (500 words max)
  • Upload your favourite image that inspires healthier living
  • How you’d be a Bio-Kult Brand Ambassador if you won (100 words max)
  • Why your college is amazing (30 words max).

Julie’s big bash

Julie Goodwin’s Natural Health stores celebrated 20 years in style with a Natural Health Festival at Hertford Theatre attended by 800 local people.

Julie is pictured with Hertford Mayor Sue Dunkley before cutting the birthday cake. Meanwhile medicinal chef Dale Pinnock and other industry personalities entertained and informed the crowds.

“I am so proud of my team and how well they did,” said Julie. “All the talks were full and we had to turn people away. We have been inundated with praise from many visitors and stall holders.”

Oliver's becomes Food for Thought

Sara Novakovic has sold Oliver’s Wholefoods in Kew to Alan Martin’s Food For Thought to take the latter’s number of stores to three.

Sara, a dynamic and influential retailer, is planning to study for an MSc in Food Policy under Prof Tim Lang at City University.

The founder of Oliver’s approached Food For Thought’s owners last year as the three stores have a mutual ethos and share many customers in South London and Guildford.

Del Eagle, Irish treasure

Health Stores Ireland lost an industry icon with the passing of Del Eagle after a short illness.

Del ran the Irish Association of Health Stores for 25 years until her well-earned retirement in 2015. She brought an infectious blend of good humour, compassion and toughness to the group now known as Health Stores Ireland.

In retirement she visited Ireland’s health food stores sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for Bach Remedies. She is sadly missed.

Loyal staff to get their Wild Oats

Mike Abrahams is planning to put his Bristol store Wild Oats into the ownership of his loyal staff.

The sprightly 74-year-old was featured recently in the British Independent Retailers Association magazine and tells Better Retailing Magazine: “I reckon another three months to crystallise [the project]. It's a massive task for a small business.”

Manager Pam Buckle has been at Wild Oats for 30 years and other staff have been there almost as long, some even with their children working there.

“I believe I have a social responsibility to my staff, to the customers and to our suppliers,” adds Mike. “It’s the right thing to do.”

Revital set for fresh growth

Revital, the London-based chain of independent health stores, is set for expansion following investment by private equity firm BGF.

Founded in 1991 by Raj Vora, the family business is now under the stewardship of his son, Chief Executive Rahil Vora, and operates 18 stores in the UK.

The extra cash will be used for Revital’s online channel, product development, new stores and extra staff.

Jeremy Seigal has joined the board as non-executive Chairman after five years as CEO of White Stuff.


Rahil Vora says: “As a family business, we wanted to remain in control as we scale the company. BGF’s approach provides us with a minority investment partner who can stay with the business as we expand.”

Sales assistants Zora, Chloe and Jennie from Revital in Worcester are pictured after taking part in a Bio-Kult training session.

List your own vegan event

The organisers of the UK's vegan festivals VegfestUK have developed a calendar for UK vegan events on their website to enable easier access to events across the country. Organisers of smaller, local vegan events can now add to the list – details at

Make a lunch date for shop talk

The National Association of Health Stores (NAHS) and the British Independent Retailers Association (bira) are hosting a Meet the Experts lunch event at Natural & Organic Products Europe.

Shop Talk will take place at 1.00pm on Sunday April 22, the show’s opening day, when independent health store retailers will have the opportunity to network together informally and talk over the latest business advice with three leading bira retail experts.

More information in our N&OPE preview

Vitality is Ireland’s focus in September

The Irish Association of Health Stores, in its new identity Health Stores Ireland, is gearing up for its major health show in September.

Vitality Expo 2018 will be held at the RDS Dublin on September 8 and 9 in collaboration with the Independent News & Media Group (INM).

“It provides the perfect platform to highlight the independent health food trade and our collaboration with many terrific Irish artisans,” says IAHS Chair Mary Wedel. “The inclusion of an artisan village and an outdoor entertainment area at the expo will reflect the many elements of our trade.”

Ireland’s only consumer and trade-focused natural health exhibition will showcase new products from natural health suppliers, headline the latest natural health trends, and offer tips and expert advice from well-known figures in Ireland and beyond.

Bigger Food Matters

Food Matters Live 2018 at ExCeL London in November will have a larger area dedicated to innovative ingredients, as well as a strong focus on 'better for you' food and drink plus key growth categories, including healthy snacking, free-from, plant-based and much more.

Read more news in the latest issue of Better Retailing

Read news stories from previous issues of Better Retailing here