On Sunday, 6th April, I visited Bio Ost trade show which is part of a rather interesting trade fair concept: Bio Ost (East) is one of four regional German shows – the others are Bio West, Bio Süd (South) and Bio Nord (North).
This format started back in 2004 with a regional organic show in Hannover (the first Bio Nord).The initial show was designed as a forum and market place for local companies and manufacturers based in and around Hannover. However, the regional aproach proved to be so popular with exhibitors and visitors that the organisers decided to add another show, this time for Southern Germany. In 2009 the first Bio Süd took place in Augsburg and in 2013 Bio Ost (Berlin) and BioWest (Düsseldorf) joined the line-up.
The Biofach show in Nuremberg is still the biggest annual event for any German organic manufacturer, of course. But, as one of the exhibitors at Bio Ost told me, if you want to connect with regional distributors and retailers it is important to visit one of the regional shows. At this year’s Bio Ost there were some 280 local, regional and international exhibitors from the organic food and fresh produce industry. And although the focus was firmly on food and groceries there were also quite a few organic C&T brands.
Besides the Börlind group with its Annemarie Börlind and Tautropfen brands, Bio Ost exhibitors included colour cosmetics label Benecos, Kneipp with the Kneipp and Cattier labels, skin and body care range Eubiona, aromatherapy manufacturer Primavera, French organic company Melvita, colour cosmetics range Lakshmi, fragrance label Taoasis, Urtekram from Denmark and Go&Home, an Austrian brand which I first saw at Vivaness in Nuremberg this year.
Some of the new beauty products that were shown at Bio Ost: Urtekram recently relaunched its entire product portfolio with new packaging and presented its latest launch, Nordic Birch, a skin, hair and body care range formulated with birch leaf extract. Stylish packaging. Melvita has just introduced a 3-sku facial skin care range for oily and combination skin – Nectar Pur – and Tautropfen presented two new body lotions.
A company that I found particularly interesting was GheeSana which manufactures skin and body care oils based on ghee; a type of clarified butter that is widely used in the cuisine of South Asia. GheeSana was founded in 2011 and its range currently includes three face and body care oils. All products are NaTrue certified. I especially liked the face balm which has a gorgeous scent of vanilla and almond.
GheeSana sources its ghee from Austrian ghee manufacturer Ayurveda Lakshmi who was also at Bio Ost. Ayurveda Lakshmi sells different ghee products including a great range of cooking ghees blended with different herbs and spices – Cajun Ghee, Sage Ghee, Garlic Ghee, Cinnamon Ghee, Chili Ghee…..!
Bio Ost is not the only Berlin-based organic food show, by the way. On 18th May 2014 Next Organic Berlin will take place in Tempelhof. This trade show has an even stronger regional focus than Bio Ost; it is more of a gourmet and niche food fair – a great place to discover niche labels and food trends. Their exhibitor list sounds very promising indeed – watch this space for a show report!