Well, for some visitors to the Allergy Show it may have been all about how many gluten and milk free brownies can you fit in one mouthful…. but for the kids in the family area, it was all about learning about allergens. Here are Intolerant Gourmand Nathalie and Callum, her son, displaying each of the 14 major allergens – and ready to throw green sparkly bits over the first child to get them right!
This little girl not only got well into the spirit of the game but is obviously headed for Hollywood. Once she discovered that if she talked into the microphone her voice came out loud, there was no holding her!!
Back out in the grown up world, the aisles were, as usual, heaving. Maybe it was just easier to stand in a queue than push your way to where you wanted to go. I never actually discovered what all these people were queuing for….
Another long queue had formed to get to the very jolly Genius truck – this is its back side…
….and as for the queue for the free Dr Schaer goodies bags!! It snaked half way round the hall!
Colour toning with Genius was another old friend – but in a different livery…. Nicki Clowes, for so long the face of Tesco FreeFrom, was for this weekend, the face of the Coop FreeFrom! And very nice it was to see them at the show.
And across the aisle from the Coop was #NatashasArmy – friends of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse who died from eating a sesame seed in a Pret a Manger baguette in 2016 – signing up supporters for their new charity.
Since her death her parents, Tanya and Nadim, have done an incredible job of raising awareness of food allergy and have persuaded the government to tighten up the laws on food labelling. They have started a charity, Natasha Allergy Research Foundation which, initially, will focus on research into the causes and possible cures for food allergy. But meanwhile, they want to continue the awareness raising job they have started so spectacularly. See the blog I wrote yesterday for more.
In the middle of the show Nathalie and Callum were in action again demonstrating in the Doves Farm FREEE kitchen…
And while they were all out on the floor wowing the punters, we greater mortals were tucked up in the delicious cool of the London Room for the Allergy Show’s annual trade conference – this year celebrating their 10 years of running the show by looking at FreeFrom past, present and future. This involved, first of all, veteran freefrom-ers, Lucinda Bruce Gardyne, Chris Hook of Warburtons and me….
….dredging up our murky pasts. This was followed by a really good Q&A discussion session, chaired by another freefrom veteran, Simon Wright. No idea who had said what to who here but we were obviously enjoying it , whatever about the audience!
Back in the show there were some exciting new products such as Kinnerton’s new range of chocolate, NOMO – dairy, gluten, egg and nut free –
and Rana’s amazing charcoal bread – along, obviously, with their delicious un-burnt breads!
Just across from our stand were the yummy Oatis snacks from Finland – but available in Sainsbury’s.
And by Sunday we were consuming a bag an hour to keep us going – topped up with the ever wonderful raw chocolate pies from Liberty Loves.
Is it surprising that I could not get my trousers done up this morning!
Fatigue though did not appear to affect other exhibitors. I saw Dr Sonja still going strong motivating you to improve your life on Saturday afternoon, looking just as scary as she does in her picture….
But to leave you on a less intimidating note, who would not love the Sunflower Man? I have no idea who he was but he was very accommodating about being photographed – and who would not want that waistcoat?
So, all in all, another excellent Allergy and FreeFrom Show. A great celebration of its 10th birthday with, we hope, many more to come.
PS. Anyone who received notification of this blog saying 2020 may have wondered which century I was working in….. I am so sorry! I did mean Allergy show 2019!
PPS. See here for Alex’s excellent blog on the show – which includes a trip down memory lane to 2009 when, along with a modest 59 other exhibitors, we squeezed into the rather unsavoury basement at Olympia. Us, Lucinda B-G from Genius (which was not even Genius at that point) and Alex giving out health advice – all squeezed onto a stand which, if I remember rightly measure 1 metre square!!
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