by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Incorporating The Natural Food Show, Natural Beauty & Spa, Natural Living, and Health & Nutrition... held at London Olympia, Grand Hall, from April 1-2, 2012.
By lunchtime on Sunday April 1, 2012, the first day and the day of my visit, the show was absolutely buzzing to such an extent that it was becoming very difficult to get through the aisles and to get near the stands in fact.
This is, obviously, how it should be and how business likes a show and this should have, hopefully, been good for the show and also be good for business and a good sign that the green business and that of natural and organic products is going to be one that could be booming.
As more and more people become conscious of what they eat and of how what they eat was grown, raised and produced this is going to be one “industry” that is booming, though poorer sections of society are mostly not able to afford those products, which is rather a shame.
Vegan products certainly have come a long way, a very long way indeed, and when “fake” beef pasties and “fake” Peking duck start tasting better than the real thing... well... and those by The Redwood Wholefood Company certainly do.
The fish fillets and fish cakes too, in the making of which no fish was harmed, also looked very good, alas, I did not get to taste any as they were not ready at the time and I did not have the time really to wait, sadly.
It is rather interesting, methinks, that the great majority of companies that were exhibiting at the show were foreign and the greatest number of those, it appeared, from Germany and France.
Stores selling such products abound in Germany, and I can vouch for that having spent a couple of years stationed in that country, much more than they do in the UK, for example, and many of the German companies producing such goods are quite old and extremely well established.
When it comes to “healthy” foods and green and organic products Britain, like so often in the “green” field (pardon the pun) is, sadly, lagging well behind other countries and not just European ones.
Germany has had Biolaeden (bio-shops) – though they have also other names – ever since the end of the Second World War, if not before, in most towns.
The first real one in the UK, I believe, was Neal's Yard in WC2 London, and that not before the 1970s.
While Britain now does have a fair number of so-called “Health Food Shops” they are, often, aside from Neal's Yard which is in a category of its very own, and one or two others, nothing to write home about.
The shops are often small and so is the assortment of products and produce. The latter, as in organic, etc., is often actually non-existent.
As far as I am concerned, and this was my first visit, not will not be my last, I hope, the Natural & Organic Products Europe Show 2012 was a good one and some interesting products were seen and samples. A couple of reviews, I should think, are to follow soon.