The Australian natural and organic industry was out in force for this year’s Naturally Good Expo (Sydney 30-31 May).
Despite the challenges of COVID, and a last-minute lockdown in Victoria, the event was described as a “resounding success drawing huge crowds of retailers, distributors and media”, by organiser Diversified Communications Australia.
The two-day trade show showcased more than 220 exhibitors from around the nation in diverse areas of food, beauty, health and homewares, as well as 17 leading business speakers. There was a strong presence of influential buyers, with interest ramped up due to increased global interest in health and wellness.
Naturally Good’s commercial and digital innovation manager, Lynn Ormiston, said the expo which has been running since 2015, exceeded expectations. “Given the cancellation of last year’s expo due to COVID, we were on high alert throughout the year. However, the crowd turn-out was fantastic with exhibitors saying they were constantly busy with retailer and distributor enquiries and meetings.”
Ormiston said the Victorian snap lockdown, which began just two days before the show’s commencement, resulted in a number of exhibitors from the state not being able to make the event.
“That was really unfortunate considering how much effort exhibitors go to, although majority of Victorian exhibitors were able to make it across to NSW in time, pulling out all stops to get here. Additionally, numerous Victorian distributors weren’t able to make it, however we have provided their contacts to inquiring businesses and will continue to work with these impacted brands.”
“This year has been unprecedented given all the challenges however we did our utmost to put on a COVIDSafe event and the feedback from attendees has been overwhelmingly positive.”
Innovation at the forefront
This year, some of the most unusual Australian products in the food and beverage industry were front and centre including functional beverages featuring a wide variety of health benefits such as collagen infused coffee, hangover juice and energising soft drinks, as well as gut immunity boosting foods containing black garlic, cricket powder, turmeric, seaweed, camel milk and bone broth.
The beauty and personal care industry was well-represented with many products featuring vitamin and nutrient infused products. Sustainability was also a major draw with chemical-free agents, cleaning devices and waste-free products on display.
The annual Pitch Fest competition was fiercely competitive with innovative businesses including insect producers Circle Harvest, children’s nutrition company Sprout Organic, plant milk business Ulu Hye and seaweed producer Alg Seaweed explaining to judges why their products are ones to watch. Queensland business I Am Grounded was named the winner for their use of upcycling the natural by-product of discarded coffee fruit into sustainable snacks and for providing economic opportunities for impoverished coffee producing communities.