A few weeks back I was lucky enough to attend the Natural and Organic Product Expo in London with work. It’s the leading European show for natural and organic products, and was mighty impressive. We stayed in the beautiful Kensington Palace hotel and had a lovely room with a stunning view of the Kensington park.
When we arrived on Saturday we headed straight to Wholefoods for lunch and a mooch around. I had a lovely soup, and stocked up on some bars and tea! In the evening we went to a dinner hosted by Solgar in the hotel, there was a great buffet with vegetarian and vegan options- the ginger and lime sorbet was amazing!
On Sunday we headed to Olympia for the expo, basically it is a trade only show and is an excellent chance for those in the industry to chat to suppliers, new company’s and try out new and existing products. I had an awesome day, and didn’t even eat lunch as I was eating so many samples on the way around. I’ll try and do my best to recap things that stood out, there was over 500 exhibitors so I may forget some!!
There were also some great talks being held which I would have loved to attend, but I simply ran out of time as I spent too long in the food and beauty sections!
One of my favourite new product discoveries was the Aduna baobab powder. Baobab is an African fruit that is packed with goodness. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, calcium, potassium, thiamine and fibre and a good source of vitamin B6. It’s great for the skin, hair and just general well-being as well as helping support energy levels and a healthy immune system. The comparison of baobab to other superfoods like chia and hemp was striking as it was much higher in pretty much every vitamin/mineral category.
Bear were there with their delicious fruit nibbles and yoyos. I am a big fan of their yoyo’s as fuel during long runs, and I loved their new mango flavour. I had to express my disappointment though at the granola being discontinued…bring it back!!
Carley’s of Cornwall were exhibiting their excellent nut and seed butters. I am a huge fan of their raw nut butters, particularly the almond and rainforest variety’s. Their black tahini spread looks amazing too. I like making my own nut butters but for when you are short on time this is a great brand to go for.
There was loads of different coconut water companies, my favourite new discoveries were Chi Coconut water and Cocofina. I can’t believe there are still new companies coming out all the time, the market is so saturated!
My favourite bar company Clif Bar were also at the show. They have now launched a bigger range of flavours in the UK and Ireland with choc almond fudge, white choc macadamia (the best!) and blueberry crisp available alongside crunchy pb and oatmeal raisin. I tried their shot blocks for the first and probably last time, something did not agree with me when I took them on a long run, I still love their gels though!
The most interesting guy I met at the show was Mike Bronner from Dr. Bronner’s. He discussed at length the history behind the company which was a truly amazing story. Their liquid soaps (18 in 1 purposes!!) are awesome as well as their whole host of other beauty products.
I tried the Food For life sprouted grain bread for the first time. They sprout the grains to release all those powerful nutrients and enzymes, using 18 grains and seeds from all over the world. They have yeast-free, gluten free, vegan and diabetic options to boot.
I also checked out the stands of some of my favourite brands like Green people whose skincare products I use religiously, Happy Kitchen who make delicious wholefood brownies and KOKO who used to be Kara! I used to be a big fan of their coconut milk, but I am not so mad on all the added sugar, I prefer to make my own nut mylks lately! Superlife were also there tasting their fantastic smoothie mix and breakfast topping.
Living Naturally soap nuts was a cool product which I had never seen before. Soapnuts are the dried shells or husks from the soapberry tree. The saponin contained in these soapnuts which produces a soaping effect, is a 100% natural alternative to chemical laundry detergent and cleansers.
Another favourite new discovery was LoveChock. Lovechock is made by hand from the best organic, raw cacao from Ecuador. Instead of being roasted, the beans are cold ground. They have fantastic and really distinct flavour combinations like mulberry/vanilla, goji/orange and pineapple/incaberry.
I loved the hot ginger muscle rub from Natural Hero. It’s like a sports massage in a tube, great for those tired aching muscles, with its blend of premium grade ginger root, rosemary, starflower and sweet fennel essential oils. It also contains no parabens, no SLS and no petrochemicals.
My favourite discovery of the weekend was Rawlicious . They have a stunning collection of raw crackers, kale chips and snackaroons. By far my favourite product though was their ultimate raw protein, it’s a rice protein (pretty much the same as Sunwarrior) but is UK based and a lot more affordable. Loved the chocolate flavour!
Zen Zen was a new dairy free ice cream made from coconut milk, it’s totally delicious, and sweetened with fruit sugar which is fantastic. Loved the chocolate one!