Veganfach: “Nobody Expected More Than 50% Extra Visitors.”

Mauritz Stefanie portrait
Mauritz Stefanie (Director) - © Koelnmesse GmbH

A trade fair like veganfach aims to bring together the companies that shape the market, as well as to be a place for newcomers and new ideas. If this is accomplished, it will attract visitors who dominate the market. This combination has obviously proved successful for veganfach, because although only it started in 2016, the fair is enjoying increasing popularity both nationally and internationally. We asked Stefanie Mauritz, Director of Kölnmesse, about the progress of preparations for the fair in November 2018.

How is registration for veganfach 2018 coming along?
The event developed very positively right from the start. Even though our initial focus with veganfach was the German market, there was already enormous interest from other countries for the premiere in 2016. Exhibitors from several countries have already registered, including Brazil, Bulgaria, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, the Czech Republic and Thailand. Particularly interesting, especially also for renowned brands, is the highly attractive target visitor group that veganfach reaches. Women make up 70 percent of veganfach visitors and people under 30 account for 50 percent. If this trend continues, we expect to have more companies presenting at veganfach in 2018 compared to the previous year. In addition to well-known veganfach exhibitors such as alles-vegetarisch.de/AVE Absolute Vegan Empire, Axel Brinkhaus (Veggi Filata), Bedda, bianco di puro, Callowfit, Dr. Georg, eco cosmetics, Frankonia Schokoladenwerke, purefood and The Go Foods Company, veganfach 2018 will also be featuring many new companies such as Ayluna Naturkosmetik, ecodemy, Harvest Moon c/o Whollees, PUR Bio, Topas (Wheaty) and Vepura.

What will be new this year?
Last year, we were somewhat surprised by the unexpectedly high rush of visitors. No one had expected the number of visitors to increase by over 50 percent – not even our catering service. This year, however, there will be a much larger selection of food trucks. Besides the expanded food and product offerings, our event programme also has new additions. Even more “vegan stars” will be presenting in the exhibition hall this year compared to last year. veganfach is where the who’s who of vegan food lovers, food scouts and bloggers come together. By the way, the jury members for the Vegan Innovation Award, which will be presented on Friday, 2 November 2018, also come from this community.

What highlights await the visitors?
Cooking shows will be a special highlight. Stina Spiegelberg, who is known as a TV chef, vegan coach and the author of vegan cookbooks, will entice visitors with inspiring recipes on the veganfach stage. This year, the moderator of the event will be Sophia Hoffmann. We are also pleased to have a vegan Christmas market on site again, which will help us get our visitors into the right mood for the upcoming Advent season.

Can you already tell us some of the names for the stage programme lineup?
Besides Stina Spiegelberg and Sophia Hoffmann, Yvonne Mouhlen, Goden & Aljoscha and others will also be there. Yvonne Mouhlen was voted Germany’s Sexiest Vegan 2017 by the PETA fan community. Gordon & Aljoscha were also recognised by PETA with the PETA Progress Award. The YouTubers show funny vegan videos on their “Vegan ist ungesund” channel. We are every excited about the talks and cooking shows with all of these vegan stars.

Will the first day again be partly reserved for trade visitors?
Yes, the morning of the first trade fair day is once again reserved for our international trade visitors from commerce, the food service sector and industry. The out-of-home media team of dfv media group (gv-praxis, food-service, Foodservice Europe & Middle East) is currently working on the new conference programme for the Pro Forum Vegan. After former national football player Marcell Jansen, vegan coach Ingo Kokartis, top vegan chef Christian Weber and founder and managing director of Pâtisserie Isabella Dominic Krätz last year, vegan-interested trade visitors can also expect many famous experts again this year. In addition to speakers from the vegan out-of-home market, this time trade experts will also pass on their know-how to the visitors.

Will you be offering packages for start-ups again?
Yes, we will. The start-up packages are very well received and have already attracted numerous important start-ups. In 2018, young companies such as Happy Cheeze, Heimatgut and Vepura, which have become famous through the TV format, will again be present. We are eagerly looking forward to seeing which new start-up discovery will surprise us at veganfach this year. In the meantime, investors have taken notice of food start-ups and are pushing them forward with financing. Since veganfach attracts a relatively large number of very young companies, the fair is increasingly becoming a meeting place for investors and food scouts. And buyers can find new products here that are not yet in supermarkets.