FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2018
Joy Waters, VegFest Oahu Producer, joy@PositiveMediaHawaii.com
THIRD ANNUAL VEGFEST OAHU SHOWS HAWAII AKAMAI IN THE GLOBAL TREND TOWARDS PLANT-BASED EATING
Festival Expects Crowds and the Majority of Attendees Will Be Non-Vegans
HONOLULU, HI — The plant-based foods industry contributes $13.7 billion annually to the U.S. economy. It’s a foodie revolution led by public concerns about health care costs, disease rates, and a growing realization about the food industry’s link to climate change. But there doesn’t seem to be a significant rise in the amount of people claiming to be vegetarian/vegan. Instead, this demand for plant-based options is coming from broader consumers. That’s why it’s expected to have packed attendance at this year’s VegFest Oahu festival, a celebration of island-style plant-based, sustainable living held Saturday, October 13, 2018 from 12:00pm to 5:30pm at the Frank Fasi Civic Grounds near the SkyGate sculpture in downtown Honolulu.
The festival brings together more than 50 booths offering education, food, and entertainment, and was attended by 5000 people last year. Activities include: plant-based cooking demos by expert chefs; speakers on health and environmental topics; a mouthwatering variety of vegan vendors offering ethnic dishes, local favorites, and comfort foods; yoga and dance classes; lots of free product sampling; and continuous live music.
A recent survey by The NPD Group said that 86% of people who buy food items made without animal products do not consider themselves to be vegetarian or vegan. Nielsen data shows that nearly 40% of Americans are actively trying to eat more plant-based foods. Baum+Whiteman report that 58% of adults choose to drink non-dairy milk instead of dairy milk and that Walmart is pleading with suppliers to ramp up plant-based product development. HealthFocus published data that 60% of U.S. consumers report to be cutting back on meat-based products.
“It’s clear that choosing vegan food options has mainstreamed beyond the existing vegan community,” says Joy Waters, Producer of VegFest Oahu events. “This consumer movement towards plant-based is wider than specific labels and reveals a new way of thinking about the impact of personal food choices on health, the environment and ethics.”
The lead sponsor for VegFest Oahu 2018 is Down to Earth Organic & Natural.
“In Hawaii where many residents suffer from diet-related disease, VegFest Oahu provides an important service by publicizing that people can attain better health by eating a plant-based diet,” said Mark Fergusson, CEO of Down to Earth Organic & Natural. “A plant-based diet is environmentally friendly, reduces global warming, and is truly compassionate” he explains.
“Down to Earth is once again proud to be the lead sponsor of VegFest Oahu in 2018. We are providing promotional support to help ensure its success and will actively participate in the event by having a booth selling delicious vegan food from our renowned deli and present a cooking demo and health talk.”
Additional Sponsors are: Kaiser Permanente, Sustain Hawaii, SKY Kombucha, Vegetarian Society of Hawaii, The Naughty Vegan Studio/Good Vibes Center, Vegans Rock Apparel, ‘Ekahi Health, Pono Home, and Hoku Coffee.
Festival Highlights: (Full lineup on: VegFestOahu.com)
- Speakers: Dr. Michael Klaper, M.D. presenting “A Doctor’s Prescription for Reversing Disease and Reducing Climate Change”. Carmela Wolf, L.A.C., Wellness Manager at Down to Earth Organic & Natural, presenting “Eating the Rainbow: Vibrant Foods for a Vibrant Life”. VeganEvan and Genesis Butler, co-Presidents of Animal Hero Kids, presenting “Why You Should Care: A Plea From Today’s Youth”.
- Expert Chef Demos: Chef Mama T. Gonsalves, Executive Chef, Umeke Market, demonstrating Falafel Patties and Tzatziki Sauce. Kimberly Oshita, Registered Dietician at Kaiser Permanente demonstrating Tofu Scramble and Mock Egg Salad. Madeline Kammerer, Community Outreach at Down to Earth Organic & Natural, demonstrating Spinach Luau and Spicy Tofu Poke.
- Food Booths: Menu highlights include: ‘ulu nachos, jackfruit taco salad, tempeh katsu, falafel platter, teriyaki soba noodles, deep fried ‘ulu, indian curries, savory waffles, ice cream sandwiches, vegan soft serve, açaí bowls, local brew Kombucha, Booths by: Down to Earth Organic & Natural, SKY Kombucha, Umeke Market, Peace Cafe, Juicy Brew, Ke Nui Kitchen, ‘UluMana, Surfer’s Wife, Counter Culture, Rice Factory, India Cafe, Baker Dudes, HI Cravings, Uncle’s Ice Cream, and more.
- Musicians: Tavana: Island-inspired Rock and Blues. Quadraphonix: World Music Funk Fusion. Paul Izak: Folk, Blues, Reggae.
ABOUT VEGFEST OAHU
VegFest Oahu launched in 2016 as a grassroots effort organized by an all-volunteer team and sponsored by a coalition of organizations that support a healthier Hawaii. The festival is a fun-filled opportunity for the public to experience the many benefits of choosing plant-based foods to increase and maintain good health, contribute to a solution for climate change and encourage compassion for animal welfare.
VegFest Oahu strives to showcase green, sustainable living and minimize waste by: requiring vendors to refrain from using single-use plastic packaging, requiring food vendors to use 100% compostable containers for on-site dining, avoiding all sales of water in plastic bottles and instead offering a free filtered water station. Read more about these initiatives on the VegFest Blog.
REFERENCES FOR PRESS RELEASE
- Plant Based Foods Industry Contributes $13.7 Billion Annually to U.S. Economy, Economic Analysis Report from the Plant Based Foods Association (includes products value, worker salaries, taxes paid), September 20, 2016. http://www.prweb.com/releases/pbfa/economic/prweb13697087.htm
- The NPD Group, global information company report, June 6, 2018. https://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/18/06/p11836149/plant-based-proteins-are-harvesting-year-over-year-growth-in-foodservi
- Nielsen Global Study, September 22, 2017. http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2017/plant-based-proteins-are-gaining-dollar-share-among-north-americans.html
- Baum+Whiteman, International Food and Restaurant Consultants, 2018 Global Trends Report. https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/0c5d00_90935d6fda344991a8fc2452eb112c83.pdf
- HealthFocus data reported at the Institute of Food Technologists conference, June 2017. https://www.fooddive.com/news/whats-driving-consumer-desire-for-plant-based-foods/446183/