Highlights from Natural Organic and Products Europe (NOPE) & Food&Drink expo (FDE)

Well it’s been an incredibly busy couple of weeks! A week ago I was getting up early for a trip in the dazzling (and  warm) sunshine to the Food and Drink expo in Birmingham, having spent two days at the Natural Organic and Products exhibition (NOPE) at the Excel in London. Followed by a short spell in between back in Leeds for the UKTI Exporting is Great event. And for the second and third time this year I was at these trade fairs as a hustling attendee rather than an exhibitor.

Prepared for the shows with clear objectives and excited to speak to both existing and new contacts I spent the days at the shows having fruitful meetings (making progress with current clients and securing new ones) as well as walking around and taking in the general buzz of the exhibitions.

It was a really enjoyable experience and many thanks for everyone on the stands for their warmth and infectious enthusiasm –it’s both inspiring and humbling to be working in such a passionate industry.

With regards to the products and health food categories on offer for 2016, here are the highlights from these exhibitions and the ones to watch in Bolst Global’s opinion:

Coconuts galore

We really have gone coconut crazy for any kind of conceivable type of product where we can utilise this ingredient!  As seen at the shows: from your standard cooking oils and traditional waters to milks, flour, jerky and a newly launched infused tea range by Gareth Gates (yes really!) there really is seemingly nothing you can’t do with coconuts these days.

With just the coconut water market alone worth over £100m in the UK, the coconut oil industry soaring in popularity and the continuous plethora of coconut related companies and start ups still springing up it is clear that this area and our affinity for everything coconut related is here to stay! It is further innovation and brand differentiation being key to ensuing any new entrants to the market can truly stand out and carve out sizeable enough market share.

Snack bars and balls

Whilst we already have a wealth of brands doing very well in this category the universal appeal for healthy snacking alternatives continues to be prevalent and is a core area for further expansion. The brands that can best combine nutritional value, convenience and value-for-money are those that will stand out. Equally there is also a place for producers who can bring innovative packaging and new on-the-go solutions to the fore.

In all economies there is an appetite for healthy and convenient snack options and food manufacturers should work hard to ensure their products are as health conscious as possible whilst also providing an element of indulgence that many consumers are looking for

It’s all cricket

2016 is the year of the cricket flour energy protein bars with a number of brands competing for market share in this new up and coming area for the Western world (albeit that consumption of insects has been commonplace in many Asian cultures for many centuries).

Nutritionally crickets are said to possess superior dietary protein than other animal sources and have higher iron content than spinach as well as a better omega 3 and 6 ratio than hemp, soy and whey.

Not to mention the environmental benefits of crickets emitting 80 times less carbon dioxide and requiring 12 times less feed than cattle.

With the first edible insect farm opening up in Northern England this year then it is clear to see that there are plenty of businesses backing this insect consumption trend to continue over the coming years. Watch this space!

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