Japan: Organic Lifestyle Expo with 190 exhibitors and 20,000 visitors
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The 1st Organic Lifestyle Expo/OLE organized by Organic Forum Japan was held on November 18th and 19th at the International Forum in central Tokyo. With many exhibitors in the hall presenting a wide range of organic, natural and ethical products and organic farmers and small producers offering their products in the outdoor space OLE was a lively and very successful event and the largest of its kind held in Japan this year.
Concept and Content
The Organic Lifestyle Expo was initiated at the Organic Symposium which was organized by the Food Trust Project Corporation in April 2015. This event mobilized during two days more than 500 organic stakeholders from all over Japan. In the following months the organizer team (Japan Food Trust Project, LOHAS World and Global Organic Network/GON) supported by advisers and major stakeholders developed a concept based on the following considerations:
O Global organic movement, markets and trends
O Current market situation in Japan and specific needs
O Covering a wide range of products for a healthy and sustainable lifestyle
O Bringing producers, distributors, consumers and other stakeholders together (B2B2C)
O Extensive seminar and event program before and during OLE
O Cooperation with many relevant associations, organizations and groups – among them
media and sponsors
Suppport of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF)
The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) decided at the end of March 2016 to allocate the total budget for the promotion of the organic movements, agriculture/products and market in the fiscal year 2016/2017 to an alliance of partners who pursue the three goals and targets set by the ministry.
From the beginning, throughout the promotion campaign and in seminars OLE emphasized the concept and goals of Organic 3.0 initiated by IFOAM Organics International. These goals and their implementation are corresponding to the current trends in Japan and the targets set by MAFF.
Exhibitors and visitors appreciated the benefits of B2B2C
As anticipated by the organizers (Japan Food Trust Project, Lohas World, Global Organic Network/GON), the convenient location in central Tokyo attracted on both days many business people and consumers. Both groups welcomed the B2B2C concept which is suitable for Japan. Visitors also appreciated the wide range of exhibited natural/organic products beyond food and beverages as well as the side program with many seminars and events. These factors in their combination resulted in high satisfaction levels among exhibitors and visitors. The exhibitor survey reports 70% were satisfied, 31% very satisfied and 20% are planning to exhibit at OLE 2017.
"Stylish · Organic" started with Organic Lifestyle Expo
The 1st "Organic Rough Style Expo" is aesthetic, such as Fukushimaya (F Design) which arranged gorgeous Ethical Cosmetics Zone at the entrance of the hall with its own decoration, proposed a cotton booth in a gentle atmosphere and a sales floor that emphasized design. Because there were many innovative booths, it seems to have appealed the impression of a fashionable organic exhibition, "stylish organic".
"This would have been an opportunity for the conventional type of organic stakeholders who have appreciated content winning opportunities to know what to do to widely appeal to organic interested customers", explains Organic lifestyle Expo, which cherishes this impression and makes it an exhibition that evokes consumers' willingness to purchase and interests according to the needs of consumers, increases the number of exhibitors who agree with this, and is working with organic, natural, and ethical I would like to expand the circle.
Very Successful Side Program
Business and general, seminars and events brought together many people. During the exhibition, 34 general and business seminars and events were held in three venues in the hall, outside the hall and one seminar room on the same floor and the sixth floor. Starting with the seminar on "Organic 3.0" which is the key concept of OLE on the first day, from the international seminar on the organic markets in Europe, the US and Asia from the seminar on organic matters in Japan, practical contents such as organic retailing in Japan and making special sales department, organic cotton and textiles, Ethical fashion show and a picture contest for elementary school pupils and attracted many visitors. Because of the great variety and interesting topics all events had a good attendance, and the total number of participants reached a record number of around 2,100 people.
In conclusion: OLE 2016 has shown that even on a weekend a B2B2C trade fair with an interesting side program can be successful and attract many trade visitors and consumers. This give confidence to the organizers that OLE 2017 will be another success story.
The 2nd "Organic Lifestyle EXPO" is scheduled for Saturday, July 29th and Sunday 30th, 2017 in two exhibition halls of the Tokyo International Forum. The scale will expanded with new themes and products.
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