Vivaness – Biofach 2017 Review & Highlights

Eat jackfruit and bathe in birch sap. Seaweeds are the new kale, and palm oil can be done right… Food & skincare novelties for vegans, free-from people, green beauties and more!

Vivaness & Biofach 2017 Review

As you might remember from my 2015 Vivaness review, I’m really a glowing fan of this trade fair. I have a soft spot for trade fairs in general (yes, I’m aware that it’s a very weird thing to say), but the Biofach/ Vivaness power combo is a particular favourite. Authentic green brands, lots of newcomers, curated novelties and so many amazing, likeminded people.vivaness-biofach-2017

In 2017 I planned to stay for two days, Thursday and Friday, and to film video footage – an excellent plan that didn’t work out.

Due to a massive train delay, I arrived in Nuremberg on Thursday night instead Thursday noon, so I only had Friday left and had to rush through. As a result, I didn’t manage to see all the brands I planned to see in person. However, there was plenty of excellence left for me to report and I took a helluva lot of pictures.vivaness-biofach-2017-reviewvivaness-biofach-2017So, shall we?
Let’s get started!

Vivaness 2017

The Birkenstock booth was unmissable in the Vivaness halls both visually and talk-of-town-wise.
The German brand will venture into beauty with a range that spans two dozens of face and body skincare products with cork oat (Quercus suber) extract Suberin as a key ingredient. The cute, cork oat adorned packaging will be refillable. Birkenstock Natural Care, certified BDIH COSMOS NATURAL and mostly vegan-friendly, will hit the shelves in Autumn 2017.birkenstock-natural-care-vivaness-2017I didn’t make it to the Primavera booth, but I knew well in advance of the yoga-focussed new products – organic yoga mat spray and several aromatherapeutic gift sets that are bound to make gifting super easy this year – from the press release on beautypress.primavera-2017-vivanessSpeaking of which, it was ever so lovely to meet the ladies behind this expanding press service bringing together journalists and brands. More personal highlights: meeting the organisers of the annual Natural Cosmetics ConferenceJulia Keith of – a fellow Francophile and one of the most trusted voices of organic and natural beauty in Germany (and a constant in my blogroll), and finally meet Dr. Claudia Kübler (kuk kommunikation) in person.beautypress-naturkosmetikverlag-beautyjagd-kukkommunikation-vivaness-2017Top left: with Gabriele Fuchs (Webportalis, beautypress); top right: Julia Keith (beautyjagd) and Dr. Claudia Kübler (kuk kommunikation); Vivaness impressions.

Celebrating 10 years at the service of natural skincare, Natrue were to be found at a celebratory booth that included several member companies, among which Farfalla. The latter introduced a brand new terres d’aventure Eau de Toilette. Tongue-in-cheek slogan:
Oh yes.

Another novelties of the Swiss pioneer brand included four room fragrances, and the reformulation of the hair balm Wild Rose. I also had the opportunity to discover a Farfalla “spin-off”, the ethical fine fragrance brand Richard Lüscher Britos. Their latest creation, Marokko, is a sophisticated, enchanting Nana Mint cocktail that I very much fell in love with…natrue-farfalla-richardluscherbritos-vivaness2017I was very sad my train delay robbed my of any chance of chatting with someone at Natura Siberica. Natura Siberica is possibly the most widely known Russian natural beauty brand in Europe, so as I checked their international websites to prepare this article, I got even more upset. Picking German or English language versions will give you an “oops” page. Great products – poor communications. Guys, I want the world to appreciate you! Need help?naturasiberica-vivaness2017I didn’t make it to the Yverum booth, but I knew about their novelty – a tinted collagen-boosting lip balm – before the trade fair. You will discover more about this beautiful brand in an upcoming BEAUTYCALYPSE Brand to Watch feature!yverum-limited-edition-vivaness-2017The Florascent booth greeted visitors with gilded walls and an abundance of gorgeous natural fragrances in the most dreamy setting. This year’s novelties: new men’s fragrance Le Mec (French for: the guy), a swish Juniper-Grapefruit-Davana-Vetiver number, and the new, lush room scents dubbed The Cubes, available now.florascent-vivaness-2017Lisa Dobler, co-founder of the brand spanking new Austrian organic and vegan skincare brand Pure Skin Food, showed me how their layering system works. By combining tonics and oil blends, you can modify the desired amount of nourishment or hydration for your skin according to what your skin needs. Ideal for those who’d love to use more oils but feel that they don’t get enough hydration.pureskinfood-vivaness-2017In the same vein of DIY-ish personalisation, the French beauty mask brand with a cutesy name Secrets des Fées offers a range of powder blends in single dose sachets. Powder formulas include facial scrubs, facial masks and peel-off masks, hair masks, body scrubs and body masks. To mix with water in style, a petite stainless steel bowl with dainty whisk is available as a set.secretsdefees-vivaness-2017Water? Aloe juice? Coconut water? The new in-juice is birch sap! Not news for Mádara Cosmetics who have been pioneering birch-based, water-free formulas since 10 years, and are growing more and more popular in Germany. To be clear: not the entire range is based on birch juice. An impressive and affordable product range is developed in the brand’s own lab and produced in the brand’s own factory in Mārupe, Latvia.madaracosmetics-vivaness-2017Last but not least on my Vivaness list (say that fast five times in a row!) was Santaverde. New products in 2017: the unscented version of the highly popular aloe vera hydro repair gel and the limited edition aloe vera body serum – a gel-like, lightweight, finely scented firming treatment. As always, all Santaverde products carry the Leaping Bunny + Vegan Society seals.santaverde-vivaness-2017

Biofach 2017

Now let’s talk about this year’s Biofach trade fair.
In 2017, a huge emphasis was put on the vegan lifestyle. Other trends: convenience and speciality foods, free-from products, seaweeds and superfoods – all of this organic. True to the motto of the congress programme “building an organic future”, regional food and ways of providing diverse and novel products in-region was another big highlight.

Do you want to meet the (not so) secret shooting star of the trade fair that had the foodies ask for more? It’s this canned jackfruit. Meet Jacky F:jackyf-biofach-2017On a more serious note, it hurts to say just how many foodie brands that make my everyday life better I was not able to see! Arche and Eisblümerl, my favourite oil mill Ölmühle Solling, Raab Vital and Aiya, Bauck and Byodo, Biovegan and Davert, Flores Farm and Govinda, Hammermühle and Helador, Lebensbaum and Provamel, Sanchon and Schnitzer, Sonnentor and Taifun, Sodasan and Sonett. Also on my “damn that train!” list: Bio Hotels and Soil & More that you’ll remember from earlier posts I linked the company names to. Can you feel my pain, green gang? Can you?sodasan-news-biofach-2017

On the plus side, these are my personal Biofach 2017 highlights:

The crazy Manuka honey trend that emerged in the last few years (vegan readers jump to the next paragraph) has also enabled a few not-so-trustworthy producers to raise their heads and cash in. So when I was looking for an authentic product that was a) real and b) as efficient as claimed, I was happy to find a jar from Comptoirs et Compagnies that came with a specific QR code for evaluation. The French company also showcased their award-winning Manuka skincare range and, for foodies, the new coconut range.comptoirsetcompagnies-manuka-biofach-2017With grain-free pasta being on of my pantry staples, I was happy to discover the Denmark-based company Asian Food Supply, specialising in non-grain foods. Personal highlight: Spaghetti, Fettuccine of black, green and yellow soya beans. The co-founders, Vivian Duong and Knud Ankjær, are veteran food retail experts and focus on sourcing the best raw materials and most ethical suppliers with the right certifications. Founded in 2014, today Asian Food Supply partners with the majority of the largest Scandinavian retail chains.asianfoodsupply-biofach-2017Rushing to another appointment, I couldn’t help but stop dead in my tracks at the display of the Palm Done Right campaign. Sponsored by Natural Habitat Group, the campaign aims to do a very tricky job – explain how palm oil can be “done right”. This claim has instantly made me feel 80% excited and 20% wary, and I had a very, very interesting chat with the campaign representatives that I hope to continue at some point to show that palm oil doesn’t need, in fact, to be an eternal source of frustration.
From what I learned after the trade fair, Natural Habitat Group provides palm oil and palm kernel oil to the food and skincare industries and is able to provide a fully traceable, sustainable supply chain from the certified organic farms in Ecuador and Sierra Leone, with certifications including RSPO Identity Preserve (the highest level of RSPO certification), NOP/ USDA Organic and EU 834/2007 organic, Non-GMO project, and OU and Ajdut Israel Kosher.palmdoneright-biofach-2017Moving on from THE raw material to THE in-cuisine. Japanese cuisine can provide the perfect recipe base for us, free-from people: no milk, no gluten, no grains. And umami, the sought-after taste, has been proven to be the most satisfying for our taste buds. Konnichiwa!

The Dutch company TerraSana excels at delivering approachable and yet authentic foods that make it easy to understand a different culture’s culinary traditions. The brand new all-organic collection Japan Cuisine spans different original condiments, fermented foods, miso varieties, seaweed varieties, oils and vinegars, rice-based sweeteners, grain-free and classic wheat-based udon, soba varieties, beans and rice varieties, snacks, teas and authentic cooking tools to boot! I can’t wait to start cooking with those, and I’m crossing fingers that they’ll hit the shelves ASAP. Also: check out those pasta varieties with and without gluten AND the superfoods shelves. OMG!terrasana-japancuisine-superfoods-biofach-2017 terrasana-pasta-varieties-biofach2017Next major highlight: Keimling. The German raw and vegan (super)food specialist presented new kitchenware – Foodmatic Personal Mixer PM1000, Foodmatic Personal Slow-Juicer PSJ10H and the infrared dehydrator C.I. IR D5 – as well as a new smoothie powder and new mixed snack varieties.

At the trade fair, the team used an almost caramel-like, thick-fleshed and thin-skinned date variety (Sukkari) to make divine instant chocolate nicecream and delicious dehydrated nut bars right at the booth. Nom factor 10 out of 10!keimling-neuheiten-novelties-biofach-2017 keimling-nicecream-live-biofach-2017I’m saving the very best for last, and not because it’s the most delicious bit 😉 but because it’s the most impactful for my work here: is now a proud member of UnternehmensGrün, the German Federal association of green economy. Founded back in 1992, it’s a non-profit, financially independent and non-partisan association of ethical entrepreneurs. In 2017, UnternehmensGrün premiered at the Biofach, providing not just a home base for members and those interested in a membership but also contributing to the conference programme. And because serious work never goes without a little fun, to close my Biofach/ Vivaness 2017 review on a very bright note, here’s a behind the scenes shot of CEO Katharina Reuter and Yours truly posing for UG social media campaign.

I accept congratulations on this in the comments below!


So, such were my highlights of the organic trade fair powerhouse double feature that is was the Biofach and Vivaness 2017. Thoughts, questions, ideas, suggestions, fancy going in 2018 with your brand or your blog? Tell me!

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Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)

19 Responses

  1. As always a very interesting post and thanks for the massive overview that I needed to go through twice. Now I am so curious that I would love to go myself next time, when it would not that far away… The asian food corner would be for sure my first stop. The development at Birkenstock is exciting, too.

  2. thehappybodyco

    Birkenstock skincare, that is exciting, love a good Birkenstock. Also, how do I get hold of sukkari? My dairy, soy and egg intolerant little boy needs these in his life so I can make him delicious bars…..available in the UK I wonder?? Thanks for signposting me to this post 🤓

          1. thehappybodyco

            When I make something that’s edible, perhaps I’ll update with picture 🙂 ha ha

  3. Thanks a lot for your very inspiring blog, for your support and your work to bring forward green and ethical business! I´m looking forward to further cooperation and UnternehmensGrün welcomes you as a new member of our association ❤

  4. Trade shows can be hectic but fun – so much to see and learn about. My head is still spinning from Birkenstock dipping their toes in to skincare! Will be interesting to see how the products perform.

      1. They must have a surplus of cork as it’s an unexpected brand extension….will be interesting to see the end result.

        I would have been in heaven! We have a smaller show here in April….though last year when I attended it was rather disappointing on the beauty front – food side was fab!

  5. T.

    That’s a lot to take in. And a great report. Look forward to the follow ups that you will probably do? And hey I couldn’t have done this in one day 😀

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