Whether it’s down to cost, health, animal welfare, environmental factors or, more recently, labeling and contamination concerns, the meat-free market is continuing to gain sales as more and more consumers regularly reduce their meat intake. Retailers and buyers wishing to take advantage of this growing trend will find a host of innovative new vegan and vegetarian products for their customers at this year’s Natural Food Trade Show, which returns to London’s Olympia April 7 and 8, 2013.
Spurred on by celebrity chef endorsements, greater menu choice when eating out, more new product developments and better visibility in supermarket aisles, there has been a notable shift in consumer attitudes towards going meat-free (if not wholly then in part) and an increased awareness of the benefits that following a more vegetable-based diet can offer. Ongoing revelations about the UK’s food supply chain aside, a 2012 study by research company Mintel estimated that the meat-free market in the UK, currently worth £634m, will reach £800m by 2017. To cater for this demand, the search for natural alternatives to meat, poultry and fish products—as well as eggs, dairy, cheese and honey for vegans—remain a priority for many of the thousands of professional food and drink buyers that visit The Natural Food Show annually.
“Exciting, delicious and nutritious—good vegan-friendly food appeals to just about any customer, which is a key reason why the meat-free sector is so dynamic,” comments Paul Philbrow, trademark and business development officer at The Vegan Society, which will once again be hosting a pavilion at the event.
Supported by both the UK’s Vegetarian Society and The Vegan Society, the Natural Food Show features over 300 natural and organic exhibitors from all over the world, including a wealth of vegan, vegetarian and free-from producers (some of whom are also Halal and Kosher certified). This year’s attendees will benefit from seeing a host of returning big names like 100% vegan Redwood Wholefood Company, vegetarian convenience food specialist Amy’s Kitchen, Essential Trading Co-operative, Gourmet Raw and Zest Foods.
With many producers now developing products that fit into several categories, many vegan and vegetarian ranges at the show are also suitable for consumers avoiding common allergens, such as egg, gluten, milk/lactose, nuts/peanuts, sesame and soya.
The Natural Food Show, which includes two days of live cookery demonstrations in the Natural Food Kitchen, will take place April 7 and 8, 2013, at Olympia London. The show is part of Natural & Organic Products Europe, which also includes Natural Beauty & Spa, Natural Living and Health & Nutrition sections.