The event has been organised by vegan sector experts David Pannell and Lisa Fox, founders of the online business support community ‘Vegan Business Tribe’, which launched just before the 2020 lockdown and has since grown to over 2,000 registered users.
David Pannell said, “It’s great that there are now so many events in the plant-based sector, but there are few places where vegan business owners can come together to learn from others who share the same ethics. For the majority of our members, their vegan business is their form of activism, their way to align their ethics with how they earn a living. That gives you totally different motivations to someone selling a vegan product because they are following the market trend.”
The rise in both vegan businesses and products has seen exponential growth over the past couple of years, due to the huge marketplace of people now willing to try vegan and ‘plant-based’ products even if they don’t identify as being vegan themselves. Research shows that a staggering 90% of vegan food consumed in the UK is eaten by non-vegans and more than half of UK households have adopted some form of vegan buying behaviour into their daily routines, this might be having meat-free days or picking up oat or soya milk instead of dairy.
The recent covid pandemic has also had an influence on people’s view of vegan products, with one in five people saying they had reduced the amount of meat they were eating since the start of the pandemic in a recent survey by The Vegan Society. And in 2021, research by The Grocer found that 15% of UK consumers had cut dairy from their diet completely with a further 42% reducing their intake.
Vegan Business Tribe founder David Pannell commented,
“There have been a lot of high-profile vegan product launches over the last few years, from the Greggs Sausage Roll to the Burger King Plant Based Whopper, that has allowed those who are ‘veg-curious’ their first experience of this new wave of animal-free food in a really familiar way. And there are lots of reasons why people are wanting to try vegan or ‘plant-based’ food, from their health to the reduction of their environmental impact or no longer being comfortable with how animals in the food industry are treated. So these big familiar brands bringing out vegan versions of their flagship products is not them catering to vegans, it’s catering to the 90% of the public who are wanting to give them a try.”
Vegan Business Tribe Live’s line-up of speakers includes founders of successful vegan businesses such as Mike Hill from One Planet Pizza, and vegan sector experts such as Louisianna Waring, the Senior Commercial Insight Officer at The Vegan Society. The event will also feature workshops on how to launch your own vegan podcast, how to get your vegan business in the news and how to write and publish your own vegan book.
The conference is taking part within the weekend-long VegfestUK expo that is celebrating its return to the London Olympia after a two-year absence due to the covid lockdown.
VegfestUK founder Tim Barford said,
“Vegan businesses have needed a lot of support over the pandemic and David and Lisa have offered that in spades with their unique brand of enthusiasm and advice. They have brought together a stellar line-up of vegan business rockstars for the Vegan Business Tribe stage at VegfestUK. Anyone who has a vegan business, or is thinking about starting one, should be camped out in their area for the whole weekend to learn everything that they can.”
There’s no additional cost to visit the Vegan Business Tribe Live event, with full access included in a standard VegfestUK ticket.
The area is also sponsored by Vegan Accountants, on which David Pannell commented:
“The very fact that we even have vegan accountants now shows just how far the vegan business sector has come. Everyone thinks about making food when they think about a vegan business, but only 50% of our Vegan Business Tribe members are involved with food and drink. If you run a vegan business you can now have a full supply chain that understands your vegan ethics: your web designers, your PR company and yes, even your accountants, can all be vegan.”
People can buy a day ticket for VegfestUK (which includes access to Vegan Business Tribe Live) for £10, or a weekend ticket for £15.
More information on speakers and tickets can be found at:
Vegan Business Tribe is a global support community for vegan business owners, launched in 2020 by vegan business sector experts David Pannell and Lisa Fox. Vegan Business Tribe provides online events, group support and a ‘vegan business academy’ through their membership website:
David Pannell is also the presenter of The Vegan Business Tribe Podcast.
Photograph: David Pannell and Lisa Fox, founders of Vegan Business Tribe.
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