Natural and Organic Products Europe (NOPE) is the UK's premier natural products industry trade show. Apart from providing a who's who of the natural health sector, it has a special place in ANH-Intl's heart too given it was our birthplace 14 years ago. This year saw NOPE in full swing at ExCel's Docklands venue, celebrating it's 20th anniversary with clear evidence of overall industry growth (even if the supplement sector appears to be shrinking). There was a buzz of positivity to the entire show, amidst a mood of innovation and growth in a thriving UK, European and international market. While there is no doubt the regulatory burden is a big hindrance to all-out growth, it seems people are adapting to its presence, finding workarounds. The air and spirit within ExCel was pleasantly buoyant.

NOPE really is the pulse of the UK's natural products industry lending insights further afield as more and more European and international distributors come to exhibit or visit. The 20th Anniversary edition of the show ran over Sunday 17th and Monday 18th April and was attended by over 9000 visitors from the industry. The event brought together 650 exhibitors — it’s 'biggest edition yet' and fertile ground to launch, “Thousands of new natural and organic products – including supplements, botanicals, superfoods, personal care and beauty, eco-household, and food and drink – onto the European market”. ANH-Intl were represented as usual where our support and extensive resources were gratefully received in a new interactive format.


Susie Crone, administrative coordinator and Yvonne England, practitioner liaison on the ANH-Intl stand



The ANH International team, from right to left: Meleni Aldridge, executive coordinator, Dr Rob Verkerk, executive & scientific director, Yvonne England, practitioner liaison and Susie Crone, administrative coordinator.


Rob Verkerk PhD participated in an expert VHMS (vitamins, herbs, minerals and supplements) panel session entitled, '20:20 vision: Imagining the VHMS category in 2020'. The panel also featured Graham Keen (Executive Director of the UK's Health Food Manufacturer's Association), Robert Taylor (Vitabiotics and Chairman, HFMA), Shona Wilkinson (Head Nutritionist, NutriCentre), Andrew Thomas (Founder and CEO of BetterYou) and renowned clinical nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville.

NOPE 4 panel

From left to right: Robert Taylor, Graham Keen, Shona Wilkinson, Andrew Thomas, Marilyn Glenville PhD and Rob Verkerk PhD


NOPE 3 panel

VHMS panel session entitled “20:20 vision: Imagining the VHMS category in 2020”


Chaired by Jim Manson (Editor in chief, Natural Product News), the issues discussed included product innovation despite EU regulation, the UK’s potential exit from the European Union, Tesco’s recent closure of Nutricentre, and what the natural products industry might look like in 2020!

There was a surprising amount of agreement among panel members. Key points emerging were:

  • The food supplement sector has shrunk owing to regulatory pressure particularly from the disastrous EU Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation
  • Innovation is still possible for those who are deeply familiar with the regulatory terrain and workarounds
  • Consumers are demanding ever more natural products, especially more complex combinations, rather than higher dose, isolated synthetic nutrients
  • Consumers want products that are demonstrably work for them
  • More attention needs to be paid to quality and sourcing of ingredients

Manufacturers and businesses were urged to seek any support they needed to get through the challenges that abound.

NOPE 6 final

Goodbye to another year of NOPE!