Biofach 2014 was a bit of a special edition due to its 25 birthday. It was a really interesting event that inspired me to share with you what I learned about organic industry trends as well as some new products. This is an opening session and a look at some of the respected organic brands that have been present at the fair since the very first Biofach back in 1990. It was also a reminder that a so called bio, an organic movement as such, was established in Germany in the 70s and then spread on worldwide. In the end, the Biofach in Nuremberg gave rise to Biofach fairs in America, Japan, India and China.
One of the major guests and the pioneers of the organic movement in Germany was the Chairman of the Federation of Organic Food Industry, Mr. Dr. Felix Prinz zu Löwenstein. He admitted that we all are here for business, but that by sticking to organic standards makes a huge difference. Surely, Biofach is mainly about producers meeting distributors. However, making the organic agriculture as a solid basis, it is also about improving all stages of the value chain: the quality of the soils, the lives of the animals, the farmers and the common people. The events were held either in English or in German or with a simultaneous translation of both languages.
Ms. Hanni Rützler from the Future Institute in Germany (Zukunftsinstitut GmbH) presented a very interesting study of the current trends in the organic sector. Her Megatrend-Map 2.0 emphasised that organic is not just a short-lived trend, but a whole movement that started a few years ago and will reach as far as the next 30-50 years. Below are my notes on the mega trends according to Ms. Rützler:
1. Every day organic – organic food and a so called healthy living are present in our every day lives. Organic as an alternative to a stressful duty of shopping. It is about individuality, making a choice based on my personal preferences. We are already paying more attention to what we buy, what ingredients are in the products. Next step is to move from stressful and automatic to enjoyable and experimental. Ms. Rützler mentioned here an importance of lifelong learning. It is about a constant willingness to learn in an interesting and an enjoyable way, regardless of age.
2. Global cultures – despite the omnipresent globalisation we will move from the global to the regional. Origin of a product is important. Top chefs have now own gardens and can prove the origin of their produce. Also sharing starts playing an important role — reusing and recycling instead of constantly producing more waste.
3. Health biography – we have come to realise that simply organic doesn’t necessarily mean healthier. We shouldn’t be just following the rigid rules like whether it is organic or not. We need more spontaneous and more holistic approach to it — healthy also means diversified, having a choice and enjoying for example a diversified diet depending on my own experience. I’d like to add here that buying ethically produced products will matter more to people.
4. Mobility – commuting in the real world as well as online. We need more transparency and simplicity in order to find valuable information easily.
5. Health — there have been a shift in an approach to health from not being ill, through wellness to well-being and happiness. This means that taking care of our mental condition and reconnecting with our essence start playing increasingly important role. This, on the other hand, leads to gaining more energy and energy reserves that now seem to be needed more than ever before due to our busy schedules.
6. Going green — here a reference to a photo above — the study shows that in Central Europe we spend approx. 95% of our time indoors! This includes commuting by car or public transport. We need more time in nature and since in 2008 for the first time more people were living in the cities than outside of cities (95%), we’ve started inviting nature into the cities. We are reconnecting with nature via spending more time in parks, performing guerrilla gardening. Ms. Rützler has also mentioned that by 2050 more people will choose living in the countryside causing the statistic to drop from 95 % to 70 %.
Okay, let’s move to the exhibited products now! I saw so many interesting things and many of them were worth recommending. Below is my selection of products that I found both cool and with a big potential for success. And who knows, you might as well find some of them in your local shop any time soon.
lovechock – happiness inside from the Netherlands. lovechock is a raw food product, which means that its ingredients have been prepared in a temperature under 42 degrees. The cacao beans used come from an organic farm in Ecuador. They haven’t been roasted, but grinned instead, thus preserving the nutritious values of cacao. What’s more — lovechock is a chocolate bar without milk! It was the first time that I tried a chocolate without milk and I must tell you that it tastes really good. The taste or rather the texture was a bit different from a traditional chocolate, but it might be that it was due to lack of sugar, since there’s not sugar in there either. But don’t you worry, lovechock is just as sweet as it should be and its sweetness comes from coconut flower nectar. It is also diary, gluten and soy free. There’s one more thing worth noting – lovechock has a very aesthetically pleasing packaging that has been made from cardboard paper and a 100% compostable foil. Oh, and there is one more hidden surprise with a daily dose of inspiration. I’m not surprised that the company won in the category snacks / sweets.
Protein flakes by Socas with 50g protein content produced from organic soy beans. It seems like a healthy alternative to many bodybuilding powders that more often then not also contain sweeteners and other not necessarily good things. It might be also a good enrichment of a vegetarian/vegan diet. I’ve been experimenting myself with another vegan protein powder recently, making some delicious home made shakes.
Have you heard of Chinese wolfberry yet? In Latin, Lycium barbarum, it has also many other names like goji berry. Goji berry is a bit of hype and yet another super food. It’s become popular in the last couple of years, manly due to its antioxidant properties. Originating from China, goji has its use in TCM and is claimed to help by problems like anaemia, colds, fatigue, impotence, premature aging and infertility. The German producer of this goji berry capsules mentions only its vast amount of a vitamin C, also thanks to an acerola cherry powder inside.
Quinoa syrup, by Quinua Real from Spain, is inevitably an innovation in the natural sweeteners category. I haven’t been using sugar as a sweetener for many years now, but honey instead. However, using honey as a sweetener in hot beverages or food doesn’t have much sense as it looses its nutritional nutritional, which makes it a waste of money too. I’ve been about to give stevia a go, but haven’t found a suitable product yet. It might be worth to give a quinoa syrup a try.
Omega Pink is suppose to give women power so it is enough marketing to be willing to give it a try, isn’t it? This fancy and beautifully designed packaging by a French BIO PLANÈTE contains a100ml bottle with a mixture of a flaxseed oil, cinnamon bark oil, turmeric and pepper. Sounds… strong indeed!
I like a friendly look and a soft feel of these food containers. The lids are made of a silicone and the containers itself from plant based, BPA free (non-toxic) plastic. The producer, Breere from Taiwan, says that they are safe for microwave and dishwasher, have a semi-vacuum function and are leak-free.
Due to my recent love of sprouts, this is a product that I’d love to have. Sprouter by Italian Geo Plus simply puts it this way — the easiest and quickest way to grow sprouts at home. I find it also good looking.
And here another sprouter, this one with an automatic watering system by Freshlife from USA.
Aries – Garden Centre from Germany has many nice things for bringing nature to people and animals alike. I’ve received one seed bomb and will give it a go as soon as the spring will arrive. It’s a must have for any guerilla gardener to make your city greener and more colourful. Of course, you can easily produce such seed bombs by yourself.
Chufamix – a veggie drinks maker — has been designed and patented in Spain. I had seen its presentation before at the Natura Food 2013 in Poland, and knew right a way that it’s a great and a very useful thing for all those who otherwise buy ready made rice, soy, almond and other vegan milks. With Chufamix you can simply prepare all sorts of nutty and grainy drinks yourself and reuse the rest of the food for your breakfast cereal or cakes. You will need a hand-blender or a stab-mixer at home. All you need to do is to add water, nuts, seeds or cereals and mix for one minute in order to receive up to one litre of a veggie drink of your choice.
A cuppa by Bio Life from Romania is probably the most beautiful cup of tea that you will ever get to drink. I had already seen these artistic teas at the last year’s Biofach and found them both pretty and very tasty. There’s no a traditional tea bag — just a piece of a dried herb that you put into your cup and pour hot water over it. And here is the friendly owner with his brother.
I had a nice chat at the Polish stand from Krakow and so I made a quick photo of them. The man with a hat is a traditional Polish Highlander.
Vivaness — a co-trade fair of Biofach — is all about natural beauty products.
A presentation of a quick beauty session for gents.
I’m not into man with make up, but I found this sets of shaving accessories very stylish.
A little bit of luxury and esoteric at the same time. Do you fancy a glass of diamond water, hun? ; ) This gemtones locked in a beautifully extruded and blown glass are supposed to energise and purify water and probably encourage you to drink more since they are very pretty indeed. VitaJuwel — Gemstone water would look nicely in a SPA, a hairdresser salon or simply at home.
And this nice lady gave me a lot of information about what a good quality, virgin raw shea butter looks and feels like. Karethic is a French company with a real family connection in Benin, Africa.Shea and cocoa butter in form of a candle. The idea is to light it for up to 15 minutes and then apply carefully onto skin.