Seeing old friends and making new ones at the Allergy & Free From Show 2019

31st July 2019

In this blog, Pete from VegfestUK talks about his time at The Allergy & Free From Show earlier this year, meeting up with an impressive array of exhibitors and checking out a variety of plant-based products.

As was the case with ‘Natural Organic Products Europe’ a few months back, this was my first time attending the Allergy & Free From Show at Olympia London a few weeks ago. As with many of these events it was an early start for us as we set off from Bristol on our way to London to spend the day shopping, snapping photos and taking in everything the show had to offer.

The event is held in the Grand hall at Olympia London, which is impressive to say the least. Similar to other halls such as the National, the hall boasts lots of space with an impressive view of the goings-on from the balcony above.

The event is divided into sections, so whilst by no means is everything at the event vegan friendly, there is a large section dedicated to vegan and plant-based brands called ‘Just V’, and many brands outside this area also have vegan products available.

After only a few minutes inside I came across the Shore stall, and you can see how busy they were, even first thing in the morning. Not long after seeing Shore’s products at Natural Products in April I had noticed their range available in Better Foods, so it was no surprise that they were so busy. If you haven’t tried these yourself yet I would really suggest you do as soon as possible. I can’t get enough of them!

Plaristo of Rye will be joining us at this year’s VegfestUK London on October 26th & 27th, and their stall at the show looked great! With an extensive range including candles, candle holders, lamps & more, do swing by stall CM1 and check them out.

Snoooze is a herbal sleep drink and was a popular stand at the show, too. Snoooze contains a blend of Valerian, Passionflower, Lemon Balm, and Lime blossom and Californian poppy.

Ethicatessen (great name) were a new experience for me, with their fantastic range of vegan ‘meats’, including bacon, charcuterie, salumi & more. Keep an eye out for this brand, I’m certain we’ll be seeing more and more from them!

Fire & Ice Bottles are another brand that will be joining us at VegfestUK London this year! They were also at our Brighton event in March 2019, so we’re thrilled to welcome them back on board for our biggest event of the year. You can see here how great their bottles look, check it out:

Watson & Wolfe have joined us for a number of events now with their high quality range of vegan-leather wallets. You can check out their website here, or visit their stall – CB2 – at VegfestUK London.

Vitamix were swamped with people all day with their incredibly versatile blenders, demonstrating with ease how to make sorbets and frozen desserts as well as hot soups (using the heat generated from the blades!) in a matter of minutes.

SuperfoodLX produce some fabulous hair care products, including Quinoa Shampoo, Bamboo Silica & Biotin as well as CBD oil and CBD butter! All vegan of course.

Pure Extracts have a range of turmeric based products such as massage oils and dry turmeric extracts that boast a much more concentrated and healthier dose than some capsules or powders you might find in the supermarket.

Sesame Kingdom are also going to be both at VegfestUK London in October and at our brand new show, Plant Powered Expo 2020, on 1st & 2nd February next year. In addition to the delicious (and wide) range of Halva as seen below, they have Halva spread, tahini spread and even vegan ‘honey’ made from dates available. Be sure to swing by their stalls at the shows – WE2 at Vegfest London and GL4 at Plant Powered Expo.

I love this stuff. I mentioned before when we went to Natural Organic Products Europe a couple of months ago, but Mozzarisella provide the vegan ‘cheese’ for Zizzi’s pizzas, and their products are made from whole rice grown and sprouted in Italy. It tastes and looks fantastic.

Terra Organica also have a stall at VegfestUK London in October (stall CF7), but if you’d rather not wait until then you can head to the Ocado website where their wines & proseccos are available for delivery! Terra Organica wines are made from organic grapes, so no weed killers, synthetic fertilisers, or insecticides.

Neal’s Yard Remedies offer loads of different products, from skincare to bath & body care, as well as products around wellbeing & aromatherapy, and also offer a range of courses by location, from Bristol to London. I hadn’t realised also that the products are created at their eco-factory in Dorset which is reportedly carbon neutral.

Chewsy Gum (Stall CU1A at VegfestUK London in October) is made of natural ingredients, is sugar free and biodegradable! There’s a range of flavours – I picked up all of them and have been making my way through them since the event, my favourite is probably Lemon.

 

Made in London in their ‘mini-factory’ (the ‘BeeVive’), Vive’s health bars are a must-try for 2019. They also have 3 vegan protein powders available, ‘Smooth Natural’, ‘Peanut Butter’ & Chocolate flavour.

Nature’s Path had a great looking stall displaying here their range of vegan & gluten-free cereals. I’m not really a breakfast cereal-person, but Maple Sunrise is amazing. With ingredients such as amaranth, quinoa puffs, flaxseed and maple syrup, it’s a real pick-me-up.

Ms. Cupcake! Who doesn’t love Ms. Cupcake? They also have a big stall in the food area of VegfestUK London in a couple of months time – perfect for a treat to keep you going on the tube ride home!

Going on 40 years experience now, Yogi Tea have a wide range of teas, even including loose leaf and teas with essential oils.

 

For lunch I had to get a wrap from Let’s Do Temaki – just look at it! It was delicious, and was really the healthy shot-in-the-arm I needed after a morning of tasting, walking and talking.

While I went with the sushi wrap, Alan went for his all-time favourite – Gillie Food. Just look at that ‘fake meat’! Definitely a delicious array of choices on offer, keep an eye out for them at these types of events, that’s a definite.

​ ​I love this stuff from the Toasted Seed Company, especially the Fiery Curry Crunch which is unfortunately not in the photo here. I fancy myself as a bit of a cyclist nowadays, and I swear by these pouches to keep me going on long rides.

Fry’s Family Foods were an early favourite for me when I decided to change my eating and lifestyle habits, and clearly from the photo below that continues to be the case for many people. I see curiosity, excitement, satisfaction and desire here, and I fully appreciate why.

Vegan ‘mayonnaise’ and sour ‘cream’, ‘cream cheese’ and dairy-free yoghurts, great vegan ‘cheese’ and delicious salad dressings. Follow Your Heart have a fabulous selection of products and are very present in the events scene so do find a chance to try some or all of what they have on offer if you haven’t already – you won’t be disappointed. Follow Your Heart are booked in for both VegfestUK London in October, and our brand new event for 2020, Plant Powered Expo on 1st & 2nd February.

Lazy Vegan were again very popular with big crowds queuing up to try out free samples of their vegan ready meals. Lazy Vegan will be doing the same, including hopefully sampling their new product being added to the range at VegfestUK London in October, on stall WI3. Add it to the list!

Bad Ass Cakes have one of the big catering spots at VegfestUK London in October, so there’s to be plenty of (and trust me on this – ) scrumptious cakes on offer. Dessert after a heavy lunch perhaps?

I imagine that a hefty sum of those reading this blog will have had (or do regularly haveCauli Rice already, but what a fantastic low-calorie, gluten free, vegan alternative to rice. Great stuff, and a great team too, clearly having a great time. That’s what we like to see!

With a huge range of products, Clearspring are a brand likely to be in many kitchens throughout the UK already. For me this was the first time trying the Brown Rice Crackers (bottom right hand corner) and they were delicious. They have donated products to VegfestUK on a few occasions for our goody bags and free gifts stall – thank you Clearspring!

Cocoalibre have fantastic vegan chocolate, hailing from just down the road from where I grew up in sunny Yatton. The honeycombe bar (in the middle of the picture there) is the one I see in the shops the most and was my favourite, but I got a chance to try some other bars I’d never had before and now I’m not sure!

Coconut Merchant have oodles of products in their range, from ‘honey’ alternatives, oils, vinegar, sugar, milk, all from coconut. That’s not all however – Jackfruit, spreads, flakes, sauces and sugar too, it’s definitely worth checking out their full range on the Coconut Merchant website.

Deliciously Ella were another brand that were swamped with people eager to try samples of their vegan & gluten-free Nut Butter Balls along the front of the stand there. The stall looks great and the branding really clean and fresh. It’s worth checking out the Deliciously Ella website too as there are recipes of some of the products you can try at home, and even facilities to ask questions about the recipes too.

Another brand with a dizzying array of products, Free From Italy’s range includes wraps and breads, sauces and marinades, pesto & spreads, pasta, gnocchi and ‘mayonnaise’. You should definitely know this brand. Also at VegfestUK London in October, head over to stall CC7 and find out what the fuss is about!

Glory Pits / Glory Skincare are also going to be at VegfestUK London in a few months, at stall U20 – write it down! A fantastic and timely product for the environmentally conscious, Glory Pits deodorant comes in packaging made from recycled paper, making everything fully biodegradable.

With beautiful looking premium vegan chocolates, the Godessi range looks the perfect gift for a chocolate-lover. Created with quality ingredients in mind and with gorgeous product shots on the online shop too it’s definitely worth checking out their range on the website.

I first saw Jack & Chill at Natural Products in April – Alan and I tried the Jackfruit Burgers there and absolutely loved it. Also now available in the frozen range is the Biryani you can see in the photo below, and also pulled jackfruit itself, with according to their website, more products on the way.

Another range I tried for the first time at Natural Products a few months back, the vegan spreads in Sead’s range are amazing. What’s dangerous about these spreads however is it’s very easy to eat it straight off the spoon, right out of the jar. It may not even make it to your piece of toast, or cake, or whatever you plan to spread it all over, so beware.

A clear favourite for many, Perkier were at the event showing off their full range of snack bars. Personally my favourite is the cacao & cashew bar, but it’s not an easy decision. Again these bars are ideal for stuffing in pockets, pouches and bags for cycling – they’re always hidden about my person when I’m out for a ride.

As I was heading out of the event I swung by FruitMe and grabbed some cold press fruit juice for the ride home. I opened the (I think it was) apple & lime one and it was delicious. I had a long drive out of London ahead of me and it was just what I needed. Juice and the chocolate I grabbed from Cocoalibre got us home safe.

As always with these things, there’s just far too much to talk about and photograph.. I’ve done my best to include as many great brands as I can above, but for the full selection of images in high resolution feel free to look through the Flickr album I made here:

Allergy & Free From Show 2019

 

Upcoming shows by VegfestUK

This blog is compiled by VegfestUK, who has 2 shows coming up, namely:

VegfestUK London – October 26-27 2019 @ Olympia London
Plant Powered Expo – February 1-2 2020 @ Olympia London