Going back to a natural habitat A show that taps into the growing quest for natural' food opens in Olympia With food safety once again back in the headlines, products with a natural and organic claim are going through a surge in demand as consumers seek the reassurance they offer. Fortunately, for retailers who want to capitalise on this trend, a well-timed show dedicated to natural and organic products is about to take place. Natural Products Europe 2001 is being staged on April 22 and 23 (Sunday and Monday) at London's Olympia and will offer the largest selection of these products ever seen at a trade show in the UK. Organiser Full Moon Communications says this show, now in its fifth year, will be nearly double the size of the 2000 event with 450 exhibitors. It also promises a vast selection of new products ­ more than 450 ­ which will be featured in a new products showcase to make viewing easier. The show will also be international, offering visitors the chance to see exhibitors from as far afield as the US and New Zealand, as well as country pavilions from Spain, Canada and Argentina. There will also be exhibitors coming from Germany, France and Switzerland. UK participants include Belvoir Fruit Farms, Simmers of Edinburgh, First Quality Foods and Vandemoortele. To help buyers find what they want more easily, the show is divided into an organic hall devoted to certified organic products and a natural hall covering supplements, herbals, remedies, eco-products and natural body care. The product range is even wider than this however, encompassing everything from ready meals, snacks and vegetarian foods to aromatherapy, Fairtrade goods and clothing. One of the plus points of this kind of show is that it offers the opportunity to find products which are unusual and out of the ordinary. Fitting this description is Gluten Free Foods' new gluten and wheat free ice cream cone, which the company claims is the first of its kind in the UK. The company specialises in products for people with food intolerances and the cone, part of its Barkat range, is free of egg, milk, soya, nut and yeast. Snack bars have been given the healthy treatment by a number of exhibitors, among them Shepherdboy which is featuring a fruit and nut range free of sugar, GMO's and various preservatives. It also does an interesting selection of products based on hemp, increasingly regarded as a wonder product, and four new mueslis. Flapjacks get a new look in Goodness Food's range of 18 flavours which it is featuring along with a low fat organic version in three varieties. Wholebake is showing its new multipack organic Crisp cereal bars in three flavours. It also does organic flapjacks and hemp seed bars. Kettle Chips is showing its recently launched organic range. In a very different vein, Eco-Zone is promoting the use of fresh and dried seaweed as a natural condiment in western cooking styles. Its range is cultivated without pesticides and fertilisers. It also supplies food supplements and cosmetics based on seaweed. Sales of herbal teas are set to double in the next five years, according to Only Natural Products, which is offering a chance to sample its Dr Stuart's Botanical Teas range. It is showcasing three new blends, Energy Plus, Kava Kava Plus and blackcurrant & guarana, with sample bags available on the stand. It plans to launch more blends this year to add to its range of five which includes two organically certified varieties, peppermint and chamomile. Premier Brands is giving a big push to fruit and herbal teas through its London Fruit and Herb Company range which has recently been repackaged and now comes in round bags in foil pouches. Its health trade range, Health & Heather, will have two new varieties ­ cinnamon, honey & vanilla and organic nettle ­ available to sample. Pete & Johnny Smoothies will be offering the opportunity to sample It's Alive, a new 100% fruit juice pro-biotic smoothie targeted at the functional sector. Unlike other pro-biotic offerings, this one contains no dairy products. Another "better for you" product is Noni juice, a by-product of the Polynesian Noni tree, renowned in the South Pacific for its beneficial properties. The juice, along with tea-bags and chewable tablets, is being shown for the first time by US supplier Nonu International. The company says it can supply Noni in bulk or raw for product manufacture. The Organic Herb Trading Co, whose Hambledon Herbs brand is now fully organic, is showing nettle tea, with medicinal properties, and Maté tea from South America. Maté, which also has therapeutic properties, is widely drunk in South America and is now starting to catch on in Europe, says the company. There will be lots of other activity on the organics front. Jacksons of Piccadilly is showing its Organic Mood tea range in three varieties, plus its Green Teas. HealthQuest is launching Welcome World herbal teas and tinctures which it claims have been "formulated by fertility and child birthing experts to support both parents from pre-conception to breast feeding stages and beyond". The herbs are certified organic or sourced from the wild, as supply allows. It is also launching Organic Blue toiletries based on herbs and natural oils, plus the Earth Friendly Baby range for sensitive skins. This includes a baby care starter kit to try out. Organic wine is being featured by Broughton Pastures Organic Fruit Wines, while the Distinctive Drinks Co is to launch Gilt, a premium organic lager in an all gold bottle with symbolic, minimalist lettering. Sunshine Organics is introducing Kidz Organic Kitchen, a temptingly presented range of ready meals for children age 18 months to eight years. The seven dishes include Cool con Carne ­ chilli without the heat ­ made from minced beef, beans and tomato in a tortilla bowl and pork & apple meatballs. Frozen organic stir fry meals that can be prepared in the frying pan or wok in eight minutes are to be launched by Belgian manufacturer Bioline. The six strong range comes in a pouch pack and includes pasta, rice, chicken and fish dishes. Organic Scottish recipe soups ­ vegetable broth and chicken & leek ­ make their debut on Go Organic's stand. Very few confectionery manufacturers make organic liquorice but one that does is Italian firm Sila Gum. Its Tufty brand comes in two versions, one made without sugar for adult tastes, the other sweetened and shaped for children, both of which can be sampled on its stand. New products in the pipeline include organic liquorice combined with lemon, orange and chocolate. Pertwood is extending its cereals range with seven new premium stoneground flours traditionally milled from its own wheat and rye. Dog food manufacturer Pero (Foods) is showing its organic GM-free dog and cat food. The company says it has branched into this area in response to the natural trend in the petfood market. Its dog food range is the first of its type to gain Soil Association approval. Other exhibitors in the organic arena include Greenfibres which is featuring organic textiles; George Skoulikas with various Mediterranean delicacies; Green & Black's chocolate brand; and Whole Earth which sources from 8,000 organic farmers worldwide. A substantial feature in the organic section will be German food and drink group CMA, which is providing a focus for the country's extensive organic output. This ranges from dairy, fruit and vegetables, beers and spirits to jams and cooked meats. Good timing The organic market is growing at more than 40% a year­ there's no better time for innovative businesses to respond to market demands' ­ Susie Gross, show director {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}