This year’s Naturally Good Expo, a trade show held on May 30-31, drew huge crowds of retailers, distributers and media at Sydney’s International Convention Centre.
Showcasing over 220 exhibitors from across Australia specialising in food, beauty, health and homewares, the Naturally Good Expo was a success.
“Given the cancellation of last year’s expo due to COVID, we were on high alert throughout the year,” Naturally Good commercial and digital innovation manager Lynn Ormiston said.
“However, the crowd turn-out was fantastic, with exhibitors saying they were constantly busy with distributor enquiries and meetings.”
The Victorian lockdown which began two days before the show commenced resulted in some exhibitors not being able to attend, according to Ormiston.
“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,” she said.
“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 COVID Safe event and the feedback from attendees has been overwhelmingly positive.”
Some of the most unusual Australian products in the food and beverage industry were front and centre this year, including functional beverages with a variety of health benefits. Examples of this were collagen infused coffee, hangover juice and energising soft drinks. Also on offer were gut immunity boosting foods containing black garlic, cricket powder, turmeric, seaweed, camel milk and bone broth.
The annual Pitch Fest competition featured competing businesses such as insect producers Circle Harvest, children’s nutrition company Sprout Organic, plant milk business Ulu Hye and seaweed producer Alg Seaweed.
Queensland business I Am Grounded was named the Pitch Fest winner, for upcycling the natural by-product of discarded coffee fruit into sustainable snacks and providing economic opportunities for impoverished coffee producing communities.
Additionally, the speaker sessions provided invaluable insights on popular topics including Getting Cred with Gen Z; How to Grow and Sell Your Independent Retail Business; and Understanding Your Customers On An Emotional Level For Retail Success.
Stress and burnout accelerated by the pandemic created demand for functional products, Mintel keynote speaker Adriana Heinzen said.
“Food and drink manufacturers will incorporate more substances such as nervines and adaptogens [botanical substances] into products, to help the body restore balance and cope with physical or mental stress,” Heinzen said.
“Nootropics normally seen in beverages to improve cognitive function will also be more commonplace as will nutrient-packed foods for immunity.”
The expo continues to grow each year with the number of trade visitors and exhibiting brands, according to Ormiston.
“This a reflection of high market demand in the natural products space,” she said.
“We also had a fantastic turn out for our comprehensive Business Summit program on May 28 and had great feedback from exhibitors, visitors and partners. We look forward to planning next year.”
The Naturally Good Expo will return to the Sydney International Convention Centre on June 6-7 next year.