Global Food & Drinks Analyst, Ayisha Koyenikan reports for Mintel that ‘plant-based menu innovation is massively disrupting the world of foodservice’, with consumers choosing to reduce their meat intake either for ethical or health reasons . And it’s not short-lived either – Koyenikan predicts that veganism is a trend that will ‘continue to grow’. She also cites Sainsbury’s, who are positioning vegan meat-style products side by side with meat, sending a strong message about the mainstream status of these products. Vegan festivals provide one of the best ways for retailers, buyers and wholesalers to see some of these new plant-based innovations before they even hit the shelves. Vegan Events UK are hosting eight exciting high-profile events this autumn to get everyone inspired…
Vegan Events UK Festival Organiser Victoria Bryceson comments on this new food trend, “It doesn’t surprise me that plant-based cuisine is now one of the top three trends. We now regularly get record numbers at all our events, nationwide. There seems to be an un-satiable demand for everything plant-based. Our festivals make a great showcase for vegan brands in this burgeoning market, allowing potential customers to see, try, taste and enjoy. The experience is also enhanced by cookery demos, inspirational talks, interactive workshops, yoga and children’s activities.”
Each festival includes a wide variety of fantastic stalls, world food caterers, exciting running throughout the day. Food on offer includes a varied and exciting array of plant-based hot and cold dishes, including Asian, Mediterranean, Indian, Greek, Hotdogs, Burgers, Street Food, Raw Food and Gourmet Food. The events provide the perfect platform for new product sampling with vegan consumers.
There will also be opportunities for non food stalls at the event, such as fashion, footwear, jewellery, beauty and skincare products, candles, crafts, clothing, footwear, homeware, gifts and charity merchandise.
This autumn’s line-up of events across the UK is:
Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th September – Brighton Viva! Vegan Festival
Saturday 13th October – Portsmouth Vegan Festival
Saturday 20th October – North Wales Vegan Festival, Wrexham
Saturday 3rd November – Bath Vegan Festival
Saturday 10th November and Sunday 11th November – Glasgow Vegan Festival
Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th November – Manchester Vegan Christmas Market
Sunday 25th November – Essex Vegan Festival
Sunday 9th December – Dorset Vegan Festival, Poole
The festivals are run in partnership with animal welfare charities including Miracle's Mission. “It’s all about trying new things and opening people’s eyes to new possibilities,” continues Victoria. “Cutting out meat and dairy from your diet is easier than you might think and many people are increasingly looking for alternatives as they want to live more healthily and ethically. They want to find out more about the new innovative foods and recipes now available, making our events a worthwhile and informative experience for retailers, buyers and wholesalers.”
Vegan Events UK also help local homeless people, whilst also reducing food waste. Stall holders are asked to donate any surplus food at the end of the festival, and a group of volunteers distributes it to homeless people after the event, providing a hot meal as well as cold dishes.
Entry is from just £3 (under 16’s free) and this includes entry to all areas and activities. Standard tickets are purchased at the door on the day. VIP tickets, £15, include fast track entry and a goody bag full of vegan products, samples, discounts and offers can be purchased in advance but sell out quickly. For more information please visit www.veganeventsuk.co.uk or www.facebook.com/VeganEventsUK