Natural & Organic Products Europe returns to ExCeL London on 19-20 April with an even bigger Vegan World area − making it the largest trade show for plant-based products in Europe.
It’s clear to see that more people are willing to try a plant-based diet in 2020. Just over 400,000 people signed-up to Veganuary this year, compared to 250,000 in 2019, far exceeding the campaign’s 2020 target of 350,000. And according to Sainsbury’s, around 91 percent of Brits have adopted a flexitarian diet.
Complementing the ever-increasing range of vegan food, drink, health and beauty brands across the show, the Vegan World area will feature over 80 companies (a 33% increase from 2019). This makes it even easier for thousands of attending buyers, retailers and industry professionals to explore what’s fresh on the market.
“Looking at food, I don’t think we’ll see the continuing growth in the vegan and plant-based categories slowing any time soon. Some of that will be down to choices around personal health, but I think planetary health will become the biggest motivation to shop these categories,” says Jim Manson, editor-in-chief of NaturalProductsGlobal.com.
No-cheese fondue to plant-based fish
With this fast-moving trend gaining momentum, retailers have seen interest in vegan alternatives soar (almost a quarter of all new UK food products launched last year were labelled as vegan). And luckily for them, the natural and organic industry is certainly keeping ahead on innovation. From vegan fondue to plant-based fish, brands are now creating high-quality products that look, smell and taste just like their animal counterparts.
“For buyers and retailers, the vegan assortment is important because this is such an innovative market. There is increasing demand for vegan food and more people are choosing a (partly) vegan lifestyle too. Our latest products in the BioToday range include our No bee Honee, No Cheese Fondue and Vegan Chocospread,” says Mik Wrekenhorst, sales at De Smaakspecialist (stand Y53).
“In a world full of inequalities, nobody’s sweet tooth should suffer because of lifestyle, diet choices or allergies,” says Mummy Meagz co-founder, Meagan Boyle, who’ll be showcasing her headline grabbing vegan crème egg (Chuckie Eggs) at the show.
“The Chuckie Egg – a deliciously gooey crème egg with a delicious fondant at its centre – has gone viral on social media. The secret to capturing vegans’ hearts is to give them a taste of the treats they remember,” says Boyle.
Alongside new launches from plant-based pioneers, many new companies are joining for the first time. These include: Sauceman, The Vurger Co, Katie’s Food Co, Vego Good Food, The Urban Fermentery, Peas of Heaven, Sesame Kingdom, The Nutty Group, Better Nature, Brand Hatchers, Nutriwaze, Black Resin and more.
- Better Nature’s Tempeh Rashers (stand Z58)
- Sesame Kingdom’s vegan Halva cakes (stand Y31)
- Atlantic Natural Foods – Loma Linda’s sesame ginger plant-based ‘tuna’ (stand X86)
- Katie’s Food Co’s savoury Banana Crisps (stand Y47)
- Pasta Nutura’s (egg-free) organic red lentil and green pea pasta (stand X76B)
- MozzaRisella’s new vegan pesto and dairy-free mozzarella (stand Y65)
- Happy Cheeze’s Camembert alternative (stand Y43)
- Peas of Heaven’s pea protein meat alternatives (stand Y45)
Debating the future of vegan food − healthier people, healthier planet?
The show’s seminar programme, held across three theatres, will cover key trends and opportunities in the industry and will aim to answer questions that visitors may have. This includes an interactive panel discussion chaired by sustainability food expert Simon Wright from OF+ Consulting − featuring Richard Boden, project manager at Wye Community Farm, Muyiwa Akintoye, head of R&D at Quorn Foods, and Louisianna Waring, insight & commercial policy officer at The Vegan Society.
This exciting panel (taking place on 20 April) will provide a balanced discussion as to whether producing more vegan food, at the expense of conventional meat and dairy production, will produce healthier people and a healthier planet. It will outline the sustainability and health credentials of the new wave of highly engineered vegan/plant-based foods – whilst welcoming questions from the audience.
Further details on the seminar programme will be announced later this month.