Product Reviews, Restaurant Reviews and Recipes: All GLUTEN FREE!
In the real world, very little is FREE but at Europe’s Largest Allergy & Free From Show there are always lots and lots of samples, special offers and some bargains to be had. It’s a great day out for a Coeliac or indeed, with the FREE tickets, a weekend full of products (food, drink, skin / hair care, household items and more), cooking classes, talks, expert advice, kids activities – the list goes on – all ‘free from’ and all dedicated to helping you to improve your life. Lots of Exhibitors are scheduled to be there this year (CLICK HERE). This year, it runs from 8th July until 19th July at the Olympia Exhibition Center, London and next door, you can also visit the Just V Show (Celebrating the vegetarian, vegan or meat-reducing lifestyle, with the best in V food, drink, lifestyle, beauty and health) and the Love Natural Love You Show (A destination for yummy food and drink, beautiful skin, body and hair care, pure lifestyle products and lovely clothes – all natural!).
On my blog I have reviewed my experience of the 2015 Show in London with a review of trends and fashions, as well as covering lots of stalls at the 2014 Liverpool Show and the 2014 London Show, so if you’re not sure what to expect, please read the previous posts and see what I saw!
The London show has been running since 2009 and every year it gets bigger and bigger. In 2012, the Show launched in Liverpool and in 2015 the Show launched in Germany. This year, the Show moved north of the border to Glasgow, so don’t miss out on picking up new GLUTEN FREE products, DAIRY FREE options and exciting NEW FREE-FROM foods.
Just be aware, if you turn up: they will charge you £10 for a Ticket or for FREE Ticket(s): CLICK HERE!
Other Food Fairs /Shows on my blog include Foodie Festival at the Truman Brewery, BBC Good Food , the Salon Du Chocolat, the Speciality & Fine Food Show, Food Matters LIVE, Ideal Christmas Show, Foodie Festival, as well as local events such as the London South Coeliac Support Group Food Fair, and Internationally, I attended the Gluten Free Food & Allergy Fest in CT, the USA.
If you are a member of Coeliac UK, they produce a comprehensive directory which covers over 16,000 food and drink items. This is available in a paper-based Manual and online FREE to members of Coeliac UK.
SIGN UP so you do not miss out on future updates to the Chocolate Bar listing, Chocolate Bags and Boxes, as well as new Restaurant Reviews, Travelling experiences, Food Shows, Product Reviews and (occasional) Recipes. Also check out my posts on GLUTEN FREE Ice Cream, GLUTEN FREE Advent Calendars, GLUTEN FREE Mince Pies and GLUTEN FREE Valentines Treats.
This information was correct as of JULY 2016.
And from the 2015′ Show:
Held at the Olympia Exhibition site in West London, Allergy & Free From Show, sits with the Just Vegan Show and the Love Natural Love Organic Show although it is only noticeable if you look down on the floor and see which “zone” you’re in! The show ran for the weekend starting on Friday 3rd July 2015 until last Sunday 5th July 2015.
TRENDS for FREE-FROM:
Rather than do a review of who I saw, what I ate and my visit to the fair, from walking around the hall and viewing the exhibitors, stands and their offerings (like I have done for the Liverpool Show and the previous London Show), there are noticeable “trends” and “fashions” which all visitors may spot.
“Free-From Snacking is bar-my”…
There seems to be an explosion of “bars” for Allergy suffers, usually GLUTEN FREE, DAIRY FREE, WHEAT FREE, EGG FREE and I would suggest TASTE FREE. A lot of them “sell” the flavours but ignore that they are largely made up of dried fruit with a hint of the stated “flavour” and are very high in calories.
“New consolidators have entered the market…”
Perhaps as the Free-from market has expanded with lots of individual small businesses, it was only natural that over time, there would be an increase in business consolidators who offer several different brands and products from different sources. In reality, these will only take-off if we (allergy sufferers) use these websites rather than visiting individual websites and ordering direct from suppliers. Living in the Great city of London, with a Whole Foods on my door, I will continue to purchase some products online whilst others I will hand pick.
“Coconuts are everywhere…”
Felt like coconut water, coconut drinks, coconut products were everywhere at the fair and very much in vogue! Even a margarine made out of coconuts was a new product just released onto the markets. It’s as if a new discovery has been made and I wonder what’s next for coconuts!
“Bread remains the “Holy Grail” for Free-From customers…”
Surprised and disappointed that “bread” and “bread-products” are still such a required stable for so many people. Really enjoyed tasting new Bread Sticks from Link to Nature’s Store. I confess, I still enjoy sandwiches with GF bread and hot buttered toast but the ultimate “loaf” is still out there…
So what did I try at the Allergy & Free From Fair:
Apart from lots of biscuits, crisps, bread and cake products, some of my unusual tastings included:
And a word of warning. It might be a Allergy & Free From Fair, but be careful about helping yourself…
In order to try the Dairy Free Cheese or Sheeze as they call it, made by Bute Island Foods, they had it on crackers which contain GLUTEN. Good to have the warning but I am sure they could have sourced a GF biscuit given the audience at the fair. They did have small samples in the fridge which you could help yourself which didn’t contain GLUTEN so how did it taste? Well, I wont be buying Sheeze any time soon. Despite my Lactose Intolerance, I am able to eat hard cheeses and so thankfully will not need to have this dairy free alternative which I found to have a terrible aftertaste.
So what did you see the Food Allergy & Free From Fair?
What did you taste and purchase?
What were you best buys?