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European Consumers Go Natural

European Consumers Go Natural

21 June 2005 – Increasing interest in natural products bodes well for New Zealand producers, says New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) UK Trade Commissioner Joanne Lyall.

The recent Natural Products Europe show in London attracted more attention this year, indicating that the European industry is getting back to business after a period of nervousness caused by the tightening of European Union regulations, says Ms Lyall.

The New Zealand presence in the UK and Irish markets is growing strongly, she says.

“It is a source of great satisfaction for me, having been involved in supporting the industry over the past four years, to see high quality, beautifully presented New Zealand natural products in a wider range of stores. Feedback from retailers, practitioners and intermediaries at the show was very positive and I see scope for increased growth in the future provided New Zealand companies can continue to invest strongly in research and development, training and public relations."

Ms Lyall says the recent show featured more natural food products and a huge increase in natural beauty/bodycare products.
“Retailers and suppliers are finding that selling natural supplements and herbal medicines in Europe is an increasing challenge. But European Union regulations on bodycare products are not nearly as onerous.”

Consumers are also showing more interest in natural bodycare and cosmetic products as they become more aware of perceived risks of some ingredients in mainstream products, she says.

Ms Lyall says natural products are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Most products at the show were attractively packaged in order to compete in an increasingly competitive market niche.

“A number of natural products can now be found in mainstream outlets such as supermarkets and department stores, so they need to match the quality and sophistication of mainstream products but stand out as differentiated natural products to justify their premium pricing.”

Ms Lyall encouraged New Zealand exporters to contact New Zealand Trade & Enterprise if they wanted to present their products at shows like the Natural Products Europe show.

Ends

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