Natural & Organic Products Europe 2015

Essential Diary Date

Crowds at NOPE

Natural & Organic Products Europe is an unmissable event for our industry. Here’s your guide to help you make the most of your visit

Natural & Organic Products Europe is a once-a-year chance for the movers and shakers in the natural products industry to get together, demonstrate their new products and ideas, and exchange news and opinions about the latest industry trends. For retailers and business owners, it’s an opportunity to communicate with peers, meet suppliers, and see, feel and taste the latest new products for themselves.

This year, the natural products industry’s annual exhibition is taking place at the new venue of ExCeL London on 19-20 April, and will feature an unprecedented 600 exhibitors showcasing thousands of natural and organic brands – including supplements, botanicals, superfoods, THR mark herbal medicines, homeopathic remedies, personal care and beauty, eco-household, and food and drink.

“I’m excited about the new venue,” says Anita Hatch, Company Director at Nature’s Corner in Newbury. “For us, Natural & Organic Products is a key part of your year, and we go annually. It will be nice to ring the changes with a new setting, and new spots for all the regular exhibitors. I think it’s always a good idea to shake things up a bit!”

Last year, Natural & Organic Products attracted 9,503 industry professionals, and this year will welcome an unprecedented 600 exhibiting companies. “The move to ExCeL has given us a fantastic opportunity to extend the floorplan and refresh the show’s look and feel, whilst retaining the unique, vibrant atmosphere which makes NOPE so special,” says event director Carol Dunning. The added space and increase in visitors is testament not only to the growing awareness of all things natural and organic among the leading food and pharmacy giants, but also to the importance of NOPE to independent retailers, who see the annual exhibition as a key influence on what they buy for the coming year.

Staying one step ahead

For independents, one of the biggest attractions of Natural & Organic Products is that it offers the opportunity to get a first glimpse of the newest, most innovative healthy living products, and get an idea of what your customers might be asking for in 2015. “It’s a great way to see and try new products, learn about upcoming trends, and make contacts face to face with new suppliers,” says Sarena Edwards, co-owner of The Natural Way in Banstead. “We’ve been to the show every year since we started our business. For me, the best thing is being able to see the products in the flesh. It’s all very well looking at pictures in a catalogue or on a computer screen, but when we can see the packaging for ourselves and feel and try a product, it makes a huge difference to us and what we buy.”

Hundreds of new launches are timed specifically to coincide with the event, and visitors will find an eclectic mix in the New Product Showcase and across the show floor.

Also back at the show are regular natural health exhibitors, including A. Vogel (Bioforce), BetterYou, BioCare, Comvita, MPL Marketing Services/Anyone 4 Tea, Quest Vitamins, Rio Trading Company, Solgar Vitamin and Herb, Tiana Fairtrade Organics, and Viridian Nutrition. Food and drink exhibitors Alara Wholefoods, Essential Trading Co-operative, Granovita UK, Infinity Foods, Pukka Herbs, The Health Store, Tree of Life and Windmill Organics will also be returning. “We’re quite a small industry, and to me it’s important to have a ‘presence’ in it,” says Anita Hatch. “Natural & Organic Products offers a chance to connect face to face with our suppliers – and fellow retailers - and keep those lines of communication open. And of course there are always offers at the show that you don’t get elsewhere, which helps with our profit margins.”

Word of mouth

Natural & Organic Products is also a fantastic opportunity to hear live talks and lectures from a truly varied selection of industry experts. “For us, it’s really useful to hear people talking about the industry,” says Anita Hatch. “Last year we found out a lot of interesting information about how much retailers spend and how much profit they make, and it was fascinating to hear where we lie in the industry as a whole.”

For 2015, Jim Manson, editor of Natural Products magazine, will be giving the keynote lecture, looking at key retail trends, changing consumer behaviour and the way the natural products industry has innovated its way around many of the regulatory obstacles that have been placed in its path; all of real interest to independent retailers.

Other highlights in the Natural Products Live Theatre include Dr Marilyn Glenville addressing how nutrition can improve memory, concentration and reduce the risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s; and Viridian’s technical director Ben Brown (author of The Digestive Health Solution) outlining new research into natural products and discussing how personalised treatments can be effective for common digestive issues.

Plus, as in previous years, the exclusive trade launch of the Soil Association’s annual Organic Market Report will also take place at the show.