Natural & Organic Products Asia
Presents a Wide Selection of Free From Food for Food Allergic Consumers

[Hong Kong – July 29, 2016] Natural & Organic Products Asia (NOPA), the largest natural & organic products trade show in Asia, NOPA has been keeping a close relationship with the natural and organic global communities to identify and cater the market’s needs in Asia-Pacific. Noticing the rising trend of food choices for the allergic food consumers, this year’s NOPA will bring in the finest and newest “free-from” products around the world to Hong Kong and Asia-Pacific.

The natural and organic market in Asia-Pacific continues to grow strongly. The Chinese organic market has become the largest in Asia and fourth largest in the world. Natural & Organic Products Asia (NOPA) was launched to cater for the increasing consumer demand from the market in the region. The third edition will take place in Hong Kong from 31 August to 2 September this year.

Emerging Concerns over Food Allergy and Solutions

Food allergy is an immune-based disease that has become a serious health concern among most of the developed countries in the world. Statistics have shown that the problem is particularly serious among children. The prevalence of clinical food allergy in preschool children in developed countries is now as high as 10%. In large and rapidly emerging societies of Asia, such as China, where there are documented increases in food allergy, the prevalence of food allergy in pre-schoolers is now around 7%. Even in Hong Kong, a research done by The University of Hong Kong has shown that approximately 1 out of 20 or 5 % of the children aged between 14 and below are suffering from food allergy. With food allergy reported as a growing public health concern globally, the potential of increase in food allergy population is emerging.

Ms. Bonnie Lam, a foodie who suffers from food allergies and also the founder of NutriAlley which specialise in providing “free-from” food choices has emphasised a rising trend of allergic diseases in Hong Kong.

“Many children in Hong Kong have allergic diseases and epidemiological data supports a rising trend. Food allergy is considered as the ‘second wave’ of the allergic epidemic and it is likely that the prevalence of food allergy will increase in Hong Kong over the next 10 to 20 years” said Bonnie.

Raising Public Health Concerns over Food Allergy

The awareness of this issue, service provision and training from both private and public parties to such rising health concern on food allergy are insufficient. A report by The Hong Kong Allergy Alliance presented a stunning statistic on their review of Hong Kong‘s allergy services and training, the ratio of paediatric and adult allergists per head of population is approximately 1: 1,460,000, with comparison to developed countries like America (with approximate ration of 1:65,000) and Germany (approximate ration of 1:16,000), Hong Kong’s medical service provision facing food allergy is vulnerable.

“Many Hong Kong people lack the understanding of food allergies. Only a few restaurants offer menus with symbols or indicators to state whether the food is gluten free, dairy free, nuts free or free from Monosodium glutamate (MSG). Despite the growing awareness of food allergy in Hong Kong, some hotels and restaurants have begun offering special menus upon request.” Bonnie commented on the penetration of “free-from” products in Hong Kong F&B market.

With the relatively low understanding and awareness, allergic food consumers are to depend on themselves and to select carefully on the ingredients and sources of the food products, thus natural and organic products are their priority.

“Free-from” Products for Diet Solutions

The term “free-from” was originated in the U.K and is now being listed on the BuzzWord dictionary – an adjective that “used to describe foods used to describe foods which don’t contain ingredients such as wheat, dairy products etc., and so are safe for people who have allergies to these ingredients.” The UK newspaper Guardian introduced this term in 2014 and this term is also getting popular in the U.S.

The most common food allergens like eggs, milk, dairy products, peanuts, soy, wheat, shellfish and more are highly prevalent in the diet in Hong Kong and other different modern cultures. Avoiding allergens in food consumptions outside of home especially in Hong Kong is extremely difficult. The risk and struggle to consume food with allergens or to avoid allergens with minimized food choice are what most allergic food consumers are facing.

In this year, following the successes and visitors’ comments from previous year on “free-from” products, NOPA is proud to present you the newest and finest imported and local “free-from” products; not only the number of “free-from” products has significantly increased, the product categories and range have also become more diverse and  to cater the market’s needs.

The following product highlight will be showcasing some of the best trending “free-from” products in our Expo:

1.  Angelic Gluten Free Double Chocolate Cookies – Scotland (Exhibitor: NutriAlley   Booth: H07)

Like all things angelic, their Double Chocolate Cookies are sweet little things! Made with reduced fat, they’re light yet so heavenly tasty making the perfect snack. Baked with rich cocoa and dairy free chocolate chips, one bite from these flavoursome cookies will be sure to satisfy that chocolate craving…guilt free! This double chocolate cookie is free of gluten, egg and dairy. Vegan friendly. Cookies are made with all natural ingredients and produced in a dedicated free from bakery in Scotland.

2.  Crunchy Almond & Flaky Sea Salt – Sweden (Exhibitor: EKORRENS EKOLOGISKA   Booth: TBA5)

Ekorrens Ekologiska sweets contain organic ingredients. The flavours and colours come from real fruits, berries and plants. Our organic sweets contain not a trace of artificial colour or flavour. No artificial sweeteners or preservatives. Only 100% natural ingredients.

Organic milk chocolate with chopped almonds and sea salt. Organic milk chocolate (Cocoa: 32% minimum) with chopped almonds (16%) and sea salt. Vegetarian, gluten-free and organic.

3. SUKIRI Whole Food Supplements – Australia (Exhibitor: SUKIRI Pty Ltd.   Booth: K31)

Based in Australia’s Sunshine Coast, SUKIRI Pty Ltd. is a manufacturer and wholesale distributor of the highest quality Australian grown whole food supplements, hand-picked from Australia’s pristine countryside for their outstanding quality and health benefits. They offer both raw powder and capsule form. All capsules are 100% vegetable based. SUKIRI’s supplements are certified organic, GMO-Free, Gluten Free and contain no fillers, bulking agents, binders, carriers, coatings, colours, flavours or sweeteners.

4. KOKO Dairy Free Original – France (Exhibitor: FAIRTECK HOLDING PTE LTD.   Booth: F01)

Koko Dairy Free Original is a unique dairy free alternative to cow’s milk which is free of allergens including dairy, soya, and gluten and made with freshly pressed coconut milk. Coconuts are one of the few natural sources of medium chain fats. Unlike saturated animal fats medium chain fats are not readily stored in the body but are digested and used as energy by the body. Koko Dairy Free is naturally free of cholesterol and its 2% fat and calcium levels are matched to levels found in semi-skimmed milk. A naturally healthy option for all.

5. GFB Protein Snack Bar – USA (Exhibitor: Trueline Foods   Booth: F21)

The Protein Snack Bars are becoming extremely popular among the consumers who are health-conscious. The snack bars are made of all natural dairy free gluten free, non-GMO ingredients, and more importantly, they taste so good that they command the consumers’ attention right away.

6.  Organic Rice O-Ring – Thailand (Exhibitor: Siam Organic Food Products Co., Ltd.   Booth: D25)

Organic Rice O-Ring is a perfect snack for all ages, free from corn and wheat absolutely gluten free and don’t worry about the chemical used, toxic and pesticide. Organic Rice O-ring comes in 3 flavours: Himalayan Pink Salt, Onion, and Hot Sriracha.

*Certified by USDA Organic and EU Organic.

NOPA is an ideal sourcing platform for health enthusiasts, businesses, and entrepreneurs who are sourcing anything innovative and advanced in the natural and organic sector. To celebrate its third edition, the expo will take place from 31 August to 2 September at Hall 1DE of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. More than 9,000 international visitors will get to see the best of Asia’s natural and organic food, personal care and cosmetics products, nutritional products, daily necessities and other related services.

For more information about NOPA or to book an exhibition booth, please contact us or visit www.naturalproducts.com.hk.

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