FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2019
Joy Waters, VegFest Oahu Producer,firstname.lastname@example.org
FOURTH ANNUAL VEGFEST O’AHU PROPELS HAWAI‘I INTO WORLDWIDE TREND TOWARDS PLANT-BASED FOODS
HONOLULU, HI —Crowds are expected at this year’s VegFest O‘ahu festival, a celebration of island-style plant-based, sustainable living held Saturday, September 21, 2019 from 11:30AM to 5:00PM at the beautiful downtown Honolulu park surrounding the Mayor’s office (Frank Fasi Civic Grounds, 558 S. King Street).
The free festival brings together more than 50 booths offering education, vegan food, entertainment and inspiration. Activities include: cooking demos by expert chefs; speakers on health and environmental topics; Hawai‘i’s largest plant-based food vendor market offering healthier versions of local favorites and comfort foods; yoga and dance classes; lots of free product sampling and giveaways; sustainable fashion, and continuous live music. Thousands of people will come to discover the many island resources that support plant-based living.
Plant-based food sales grew five times more than total grocery sales in the U.S. this year (11% versus 2%). The plant-based industry now contributes $13.7 billion annually to the U.S. economy. Restaurant sales of meat alternatives rose by a staggering 268% this year. HealthFocus data shows that 60% of U.S. consumers are cutting back on meat-based products, and Forbes reports plant-based as being #2 in their Top 10 Macro Trends driving the food industry.
“There are 161 vegfests happening around the world in 2019, and VegFest O‘ahu provides an innovative solution to bring Hawai‘i into this global trend so we can remain a cutting edge destination,” said Joy Waters, Producer of VegFest O‘ahu.
“Down to Earth Organic & Natural is once again proud to be a co-lead sponsor of VegFest O‘ahu in 2019,” said Mark Fergusson, CEO of Down to Earth Organic & Natural. “VegFest O‘ahu provides an important service by showing Hawai‘i residents and visitors that a plant-based diet is environmentally friendly, reduces global warming, and is truly compassionate.”
“VegFest O‘ahu will be the opportunity for our local community to taste the newest and most innovative plant-based items on the market,” said Ty Hitch from VEDGE Wholesale, also co-lead sponsor of the event.
“VegFest O‘ahu grows our state’s economy by providing profitable market opportunities for island food entrepreneurs to increase brand awareness to thousands of residents and visitors, test new products, and network with other plant-based companies,” said Joy Waters. “Some of the participating vendors told us they launched their entire businesses at VegFest O‘ahu. Restaurant owners told us they tried out new dishes at the festival and used the feedback to determine which should become a regular part of their menu.”
VegFest O‘ahu’s Co-Lead Sponsors are: Down to Earth Organic & Natural, and VEDGE Wholesale. Learning Kitchen Sponsor: Adventist Health Castle. Supporting Sponsors: Kaiser Permanente, SKY Kombucha, Tania Fukuda New York Life, Vegetarian Society of Hawai‘i, Pono Home, Uncle’s Ice Cream, and Sustain Hawai‘i.
Food: Menus include: mochiko chik’n bowl, kakiage tempura, “not pork” kim chee manapua, cauliflower shawarma wrap, jackfruit tacos, falafel waffle, watermelon and veg feta salad, stuffed croissants with ham and cheese, mushroom tamales, roasted vegetable focaccia, kalo brownies, ‘ulu cinnamon rolls, ice cream sandwiches, macnut soft serve, açaí bowl, local brew kombucha, guava cupcakes, fried donuts, and much more. COME HUNGRY!
Speakers: Dr. Sailesh Rao, PhD from Stanford, presents “How You Can Solve Climate Change Today”. Carmela Wolf, Wellness Mgr at Down to Earth Organic & Natural, presents “Your Food, Your Medicine: Using Phytochemicals for Optimal Health”. Suzanne Frazer, from Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaiʻi (B.E.A.C.H.) presents “How to Get Plastic Out of Your Diet”, Panel, “Take Action: Strategies to Strengthen Hawai‘i’s Plant-Based Movement.”
Expert Chef Demos: Chef Edgar Edge and Gordon Au, from Adventist Health Castle, demos Sushi Burger and Vegan Pho. Chef Katie Dobkin from Beet Box Cafe and representing VEDGE Wholesale, demos BBQ SoyCurls. Chef Paul Onishi, representing Down to Earth Organic & Natural, demos Healthy Loco Moco. Kim Oshita, Dietician from Kaiser Permanente, demos Local-Style Cauliflower Rice. Chef Mama T. Gonsalves, from Umeke Market, demos Chickpea Taco Salad.
Music Bands: TAIMANE: Ukulele from classical to rock to flamenco. PAUL IZAK: Harmonica blues, folk guitar, and reggae beats. TAVANA: Island-inspired rock and blues. HOOK+ LINE: Acoustic rhythm and blues with fiddle and upright bass.
ABOUT VEGFEST OAHU
VegFest O‘ahu’s mission is to offer the community a fun-filled opportunity to experience the powerful benefits of choosing plant-based foods to: increase and maintain good health, mitigate climate change, and encourage compassion for animal welfare. We offer tools and inspiration to make following a plant-based diet easier and to build a supportive and engaged local, plant-based community.
Our island state is vulnerable to rise in sea level and there is growing consumer awareness about animal agriculture’s high resource footprint and contribution to global warming. At VegFest O‘ahu, the public learns how diet choices are linked to climate change and how they can be part of the solution, as well as practical ways to reverse disease in themselves or loved ones.
VegFest O‘ahu strives to be zero waste and plastic free and comply with guidelines to get certified as a Green Event by the Hawai‘i State Energy Office. We minimize waste by: prohibiting all vendors from bringing single-use plastic packaging to our event, requiring food vendors to use 100% compostable containers for on-site dining, prohibiting sales of water in plastic bottles and instead offer a free Filtered Water Refill Station.
REFERENCES FOR PRESS RELEASE
1. Data by the Plant Based Foods Association and The Good Food Institute, July 12, 2019. https://plantbasedfoods.org/2019-data-plant-based-market/
2. Data by the Plant Based Foods Association, September 20, 2016. https://plantbasedfoods.org/the-plant-based-foods-industry-contribution-to-the-u-s-economy/
3. Data by Dining Alliance, the nation’s largest group purchasing organization for restaurants, June 10, 2019. https://www.diningalliance.com/blog/meatless-alternatives-burgers-restaurants/
4. HealthFocus data reported at the Institute of Food Technologists conference, June 2017. https://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/9571-a-broader-market-for-plant-protein