The Allergy and Gluten Free show 2010 – Cressida Boyd reports
Foods Matter’s Cressida Boyd reports from this year’s Allergy Show 2010
Somehow the Allergy Show, held annually at London’s Olympia, always falls on some of the hottest weekends of the year.
This year was no different. On a weekend that saw the hottest ever temperatures recorded in the Outer Hebrides, Green People showcased their new range of skin and hair care products, the Nutrition Point team were run off their feet by the hungry mob, clamouring for new and tastier free from products than ever before, and the speakers included a range of specialists in allergy, immunology and gastroenterology.
Early arrival was essential this year. In spite of the sweltering heat, or perhaps because of it (Olympia being well-ventilated) by midday on Friday it was hard to move around the arena. Even so, the array of exhibitors was an awesome and inspiring sight. Considering that this time last year no one knew whether the Allergy Show would live to see another decade, it was heartening to see so many people.
From allergen-sucking vacuum cleaners (Wertheim) to seaweed baths (Aalgo) for all skin conditions, from gluten-free beer (Estrella - winner of a FreeFrom Food Award 2010) to cookery demonstrations for kids parties (Crafty Chefs), from demonstrations of ‘how to administer your adrenalin injector’ (Anaphylaxis Campaign) to the Bowen technique for asthma, there is something for everyone at the Allergy Show.
And with tasty snacks and cakes (Clearspring, Conscious Foods, Honeyrose Bakery), Chocolate (Plamil, Kinnerton) and companies who supply many different brands of free from foods, you may not even have to buy lunch as you eat cheese (Lactofree), bread (Garbo - looking for a UK distributor), coconut milk (Kara Dairy Free), try out massage beds (Cyclo-Ssage), and get tested for allergy and intolerance (too many to list) – all for free or at reduced prices. Just remember to bring your own supply of fresh fruit and vegetables, or visit the downstairs café selling free from meals and drinks for those who hadn’t been brave enough with the freebies.
Lifestyle enhancing or changing products included water softeners (Aquatiere, Harvey Water Softeners), air purifiers (Biolysair) and hypo-allergenic cleaning products and parents could attend workshops on how to manage allergy in your child. There were products for managing hayfever (HayMax), creams for sensitive skins (Environ available from Totally Nourish, Renapur) and stylish medical alert jewellery (Ice Gems).
London’s Olympia is easily accessible by rail and bus, and I got around the show in a couple of hours, which left ample time for a stress free journey home. Even for experienced hands, there are always interesting new products and speakers. I cannot list all the exhibitors present this year, but suffice it to say that if there is Allergy Show 2011, I’m buying a ticket, which are, incidentally only £9, and for which I got a goody bag with some Sainsbury’s FreeFrom jam tarts for my journey home.
New Skin Product reviews from the Allergy Show 2010