Beijing holds VegFest as veganism gains popularity in China
A pursuit for more healthy, eco-friendly and trendy lifestyles has prompted many people in China, especially the younger generation, to go vegan.
Over the weekend, around 10,000 people are expected to take part in a "Plant-Based Festival" in Beijing.
Featuring a plant-based food fair, outdoor fitness activities and live music, the event aims to reflect the growing popularity of veganism in China, and to offer an alternative way to celebrate the holidays in a healthy way, according to the organizers.
On Sept. 22 and 23, the "Pop Plant-Based Festival" will have a plant-based food market in the morning, with vendors from 100 vegan brands ranging from food and fashion to health.
In the afternoon, the country's top fitness coaches and world-class vegan athletes will provide training sessions in everything from yoga to "insanity workouts" during an outdoor "FitFest."
After the sweaty workout, a large party called Rock Moon Night, inspired by London's famous "Vegan Nights" events - is to be hosted by acclaimed live DJs.
"Our main objective is to provide a fun, entertaining and fulfilling experience for festival attendees so that they can learn about plant-based food and fitness in a friendly and supportive environment," Jack Kleinman, co-organizer of the event, told Xinhua.
In recent years, veganism has seen rapid growth in China and throughout the world, as mounting evidence and research shows the negative impact of meat consumption on human health.
In the meantime, industrialized animal agriculture has been criticized for greenhouse gas emissions and unethical practices.
"More and more people in China and all over the world are shifting to a vegan lifestyle for their health, the environment and the animals," Kleinman said. "It is also easy to do in China, as there is a long tradition of plant-based food in China, and a lot of people are rediscovering this in a trendy, more modern way."
Kleinman hopes that the event will serve as a significant platform for promoting plant-based lifestyles to young people.
"We want to show them how cool and easy it is (to go plant-based). Most importantly, we want everyone to have an amazing time," he said.
PLANT-BASED BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
"Veganism for me personally represents a healthy, eco-friendly and trendy lifestyle, and I see enormous potential in the plant-based business as the next hotspot of investment," said Kelly Chen, promoter and co-organizer of the festival.
Industry leaders, investors, trendsetting brands and charitable groups will gather at the festival, in Chaoyang District of Beijing, to explore opportunities presented by the Chinese market.
"A new generation of vegan consumers are rising and expanding in the country as everywhere else, seeking a healthy, green and compassionate lifestyle," Chen said.
Chen said that plant-based food would be a global trend for 2018, quoting recent surveys released by assessment firms such as Baum + Whiteman, a U.S.-based restaurant consulting company, Just Eat, GrubHub delivery services and Google Trends.
China is no exception.
However, despite huge market potential in the country, many companies and brands are choosing to wait and see, as so far the development has been at a slow pace, according to Chen.
To push things ahead, Chen said the festival would aim to promote cross-over cooperation. For example, by integrating food, nutrition, fitness, health and entertainment, vegan businesses at the festival hope to attract a younger, more diverse public.
Kleinman believes the eco-market, which includes food products, cosmetics, clothing, health and fitness, presents a huge opportunity for growth in many different industries. "Since this market is only just emerging in China, there are many exciting business opportunities and a lot of room for innovation."
Chen said: "The vegan trend is creating a new and wholesome business ecosystem, from product innovation and catering services, to IT solutions and financial investments."
"Given that China is vigorously advocating for growth that is defined as eco-friendly, sustainable and innovative, the new generation of plant-based industries will undoubtedly become the next investment hotspot," she added.
According to the organizers, the event will also be held nationwide at later dates in cities including Shanghai, Chengdu and Shenzhen.
(Source_title：Beijing holds VegFest as veganism gains popularity in China)