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Natural Organic Products Europe 2022

Date Published: 11-04-2022

After a two-year absence due to Covid, Essential were delighted to be back at the Natural Organic Products Europe exhibition at London’s ExCel at the beginning of April.  Historically a hugely popular event for anyone in the organic sector, the collaboration with like-minded brands, individuals and businesses in eco-friendly, sustainable, natural, organic and free-from food, drink, beauty, self-care and wellbeing products markets was a hive of activity once more.

As a business that can boast nearly 5000 product lines, there is always the dilemma of what we should take with us to such exhibitions.  But aside from all of the wonderful brands that we stock, Essential also have prominence for our own individual products; cereals, tinned fruit and veg, snacks, cooking ingredients and more.  It was decided that for ease of sampling, our chocolate spreads should make an appearance.  And boy, did they impress!

The Essential team present at the event took it in turns to lovingly apply our Hazelnut & Chocolate Spread and Dark Chocolate Spread onto select pieces of Clearspring’s wonderful corn cakes.  The production line was almost constant and the feedback from those trying the spreads was complimentary, to say the least.  Of particular interest, many comments were very similar; they compared our spreads with the “leading” brand whose name we’ll nut mention.  All of the comments favoured ours, with one man even exclaiming that he may now forego his morning jam spread and join his wife in chocolate-flavoured toast, but only with the addition of Essential’s range.  It’s encouraging to know that Essential are an influence for marital bliss.  Maybe that should make an appearance on the packaging?

Also on offer was Essential’s Vitam-R award-winning Yeast Extract.  This venerable product has won over many individuals who are adamant that yeast products aren’t for them.  My comments to those enquiring, was that it is the posh cousin of the leading yeast brand.  With a smirk in tow, even some of the most stubborn yeast extract deniers were converted.  Essential had a box full of samples and all of them went.  Kudos for both of these spreads.

At this year’s event, Essential also had something a little extra at the stand.  Cooking fresh pasta dishes from late morning to late afternoon were Veronica and Gloria from La Terra e il Cielo.  Essential has a UK monopoly on what must surely be the most skillfully created pasta in the world.  Based in the Marche farming region of Italy, La Terra’s pasta is made with meticulous precision by a small group of practised individuals in a simply stunning environment.  More information on La Terra can be found online: www.laterraeilcielo.it.  The pasta creations at NOPE were produced in Essential’s pop-up kitchen and undeniably popular.  We were one of only a handful of businesses cooking produce at the event; two sinks, a fridge, an induction hob and more utensils, pots and pans than the average kitchen were required, but the reaction was astonishing.  All those visiting wanted to learn more about the pastas and the cooking directives and were keen to check out our La Terra range.  Huge thanks to Veronica and Gloria for flying over from Italy for the event.  Your culinary skills were modestly magnificent!

So what might NOPE 2023 have in store?  The shape of the organic market will be an influence.  Organic has a key role to play in restoring the health of nature, people and the planet, and shoppers do seem to be recognising this.  Growth has been across all sectors - food and drink, beauty and wellbeing and textiles - and we’re really excited about seeing our organic range continue to grow.  We cater for a committed core of valued customers who are increasingly prioritising sustainability and health, and we know this trend is not going anywhere.  We hope that NOPE 2023 will once again feature foodstuffs served by a happy, knowledgeable Essential team, an incredibly inviting stand (maybe with some more cooking!) and meet and greets with our wonderful regulars, new producers and fellow wholefoods fans.