Momentum continues to build for Natural Products Scandinavia 2012, with the announcement of a host of renowned industry names to headline the inaugural event’s free Keynote line-up. The EPHM’s director of European affairs Simon Pettman, innovative business consultant Stefan Engeseth, leading natural health and beauty authority Iréne von Arronet, Euromonitor analyst Diana Cowland, superfoods specialist John Opsahl from Supernature AS, retail guru Alf Dunbar, and Turid Backer, CEO of Norway’s National Association of Health Product Manufacturers, are just a few of the speakers confirmed to appear at Scandinavia’s first ever dedicated natural and organic products trade event, taking place on 14-15 October in Malmö, Sweden.
Since on-going training and development is integral to the running of any successful business, Natural Products Scandinavia’s free education programme – the International Nordic Self-Care Conference –provides a unique industry forum tailored specifically to meet the needs of the market it serves. It offers attending buyers and retailers an unrivalled opportunity to be kept up-to-date with key industry trends and all the latest research and developments within the natural and organic healthy living, nutrition, self care and beauty sectors.
The show’s opening Keynote in Theatre 1 on Sunday 14 October sets the scene for an action-packed two days, with an overview of the ‘State of the Scandinavian Natural Market’ led by Diana Cowland, health and wellness analyst at global market research company Euromonitor.
“One of the most pervasive health and wellness trends globally is consumers’ enduring quest to seek out naturally healthy products,” says Cowland. “Euromonitor International’s health and wellness data show that in 2010, 40% of health and wellness-positioned products were marketed as naturally healthy.”
The session will take a detailed look at global trends, innovations and opportunities for naturally healthy food and drinks, with a focus on high fibre food, snack bars, superfruit juice and green tea. Plus, Cowland will also discuss how leading trends in Scandinavia – driven by strong demand from the region’s health-conscious consumers – can offer valuable insight into innovations within the naturally healthy product market as a whole.
Keynote highlights of the first day also include a highly anticipated session by creative business thinker and author Stefan Engeseth, whose books include ONE: A Consumer Revolution for Business and, most recently, Sharkonomics: How to Attack Market Leaders. Predicted to become one of the hot “marketing buzzwords” in 2012 (source: Lucy Handley, Marketing Week, 7 June 2012) – Sharkonomics is a term coined by Engeseth to describe how brand leaders are falling prey to other brands that want to “bite into [their] market share”.
“In nature, sharks have to move to survive. But in business most market leaders do not, because they are stuck in history – and eventually become shark food,” says Engeseth. “Sharks don't perform by producing endless Power Points; they bite into market share.”
Engeseth’s provocatively titled session – ‘Can health stores survive?’ will incorporate inspirational ideas first addressed in his 2006 book ONE, such as challenging corporate assumptions and promoting the power of the consumer, with highly practical business strategies from Sharkonomics, including striking unpredictably and how to locate blind spots, plus tactics for companies to defend themselves against attack.
A regular speaker at international trade events, Simon Pettman, director of Belgium-based consultancy European Advisory Services (EAS) and director of European affairs at the European Federation of Associations of Health Product Manufacturers (EHPM), is set to draw a healthy crowd with his probing session on ‘Regulation overview: the beginning or the end?’. Pettman, who has been advising companies and governments on regulatory strategies for the marketing of foods, food supplements and functional ingredients for over 20 years, will discuss the regulatory challenges and opportunities ahead for the European natural products industry.
New Nordic Healthbrands’s Johanna Verdugo-Engelin is also looking towards the future, with her session ‘How Green is Our Industry?’. Using the ancient Chinese phrase ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’ as a starting point, she examines how a future where ecology and economics go hand in hand can be achieved. Having worked with the self care industry for many years, Verdugo-Engelin highlights the importance of global companies embracing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies to actively contribute to a sustainable and prosperous future for all.
"Natural Products Scandinavia is a perfect way of getting together with partners, future partners and colleagues,” explains Verdugo-Engelin. “I look forward to meeting people with a genuine interest, like myself, in nature’s diversity and I hope that this will be a platform where together we can inspire and get inspired to create new, healthy and sustainable products for the future. A trade event place like this is definitely needed, as consumers are more and more aware of the benefits of natural and organic products. This is not a trend, it’s a lifestyle."
It’s a view shared by many of the show’s speakers, and reflected by the Nordic region’s continued strong growth in the sales of healthy living products (including dietary supplements, remedies, natural beauty products, and organic produce). Nature’s Treats owner and founder Iréne von Arronet is keen to highlight that it’s not just consumers that benefit from choosing a healthy lifestyle but retailers also. Using examples of how selected skin care products can aid long lasting wellbeing and beauty, von Arronet will seek to explain how health store retailers can use knowledge about new products and emerging eco-trends – such as increasing demand for natural and organic anti aging products and cosmetics – to gain new customers and increase profitability in their business.
“Natural Products Scandinavia is a fantastic opportunity to talk to retailers, to increase their knowledge in health issues and to help them to stock the best beauty products on the market on their shelves. Retailers really need to understand how important they are to supporting the continued growth of the natural health and beauty industry,” comments Iréne von Arronet.
Natural Products Scandinavia will showcase the best choice of natural, organic, Fairtrade, free-from and eco-friendly products over 150 leading exhibitors from across Scandinavia and the world. Taking place at MalmöMässan, Malmö, Sweden, on 14-15 October, the seminar programme and initial exhibitor listing will be available online later this month. The event is free to attend for pre-registered trade visitors.