Vegfest Scotland – Foods
In November, I went to my first vegan festival, the Vegfest Scotland, here in Glasgow. It was a weekend of talks and workshops, tasting different foods, discovering new brands, meeting interesting people and ideas and supporting NGOs. There was also a food court with many options to each and drink.
There were many talks and workshops divided by subject: cooking demos, activism, health, introductory aspects of veganism, philosophical aspects, mature zone, and kids and also some bands playing live.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to stay and listen to the talks or take the workshops, so I focused on getting to know the vegan brands, their innovative ideas, and visual identities. I had the pleasure to talk to many of them, so I’m going to share with you some of my favorites. I divided this article into 3 parts: foods, NGOs, makeup/skincare and clothing.
Part I: Foods
About: With over 20 years of experience, we are one of the UK’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of Vegan and Dairy Free cheese products. We have grown a significant amount since our humble beginnings, and thanks to our brand new state-of-the-art facility, we are able to satisfy the huge demand in the growing Vegan cheese market for those who want excellent tastes, without the dairy!
Products: “All of our cheese alternatives are Dairy Free, Vegan, free from gluten & lactose, and our tasty wheat-based is absolutely free from meat, egg, or dairy products. Our ingredients are sourced as non-GMO, and our Sheese range is made in our dedicated Free From Factory on the Isle of Bute.”
My Experience: I’ve never been to a vegan festival before, but I can guess the vegan cheeses are on the spotlight. Everybody was curious to try the different flavors and see if they really taste like cheese. I’d never tried a vegan cheese before, but this was definitely a great start! They were offering many samples: cheddar, mild cheddar, strong cheddar, mature cheddar, smoked cheddar, blue style, wensleydale with cranberries.
The great news is their cheese are very affordable, which makes vegan food accessible for all. I bought my favorites: blue, smoked cheddar and mature cheddar.
Visual Identity: Besides of the tasteful vegan cheese, the brand lacks so much in visual identity. My guess is they can’t see a necessity to invest in visual identity so far, considering vegan cheeses are still an innovation in the market and there aren’t many options to choose. But, if you think in long term, this brand will probably lose potential clients if they don’t invest in visual identity. Besides, a professional visual identity show to your costumers how much you care about your company and your products. It transmits reliability to make people connected.
About: “Tyne Chease is lovingly handmade by acclaimed vegan chease artisan, Ami J. Tadaa, in the North East of England using the finest organic ingredients.”
Products: A great range of vegan cheeses and cream cheese
My Experience: Their products are very good and high-quality. Although their cheeses are more expensive, they use fine and organic ingredients and the cheese is cultured and aged. It worth the price. Take a look at the smoked cheddar ingredientes: organic cashew nuts, water, smoked paprika, probiotics, himalayan pink salt.
Visual Identity: It’s simple and transmits the message. The deep blue color was a good choice as a primary color because it refers to gourmet products. Considering the premium products they offer, I would recommend investing in a more professional and stunning visual identity.
About: “It all began in our family kitchen in 1991, where Wally and Debbie Fry, began making burgers and sausages without the meat. Debbie was born vegetarian, and Wally (an avid meat eater) changed after meeting Debbie (she got her way!). Our range of vegan products (we don’t do meat, egg or dairy) are now available all over the world and make eating a plant-based diet, that is good for you and the planet, that much easier.”
Products: all frozen foods from plant protein nuggets and fries; burgers, sausages, crumbed, pies and sausage rolls.
My Experience: For me this was the most surprising brand there. They are offering free samples of their vegan chicken nuggets and I was very impressed by the taste. It’s exactly like the real chicken nuggets. Also, the staff was really friendly and fun. It is so good to be around positive people.
Visual Identity: With a fast food visual style, the brand outstand from the others. Like their nuggets that doesn’t taste like vegan, their visual identity also doesn’t look like a vegan brand. Their primary color is red and the logotype has a cartoon style that reminds of fast food companies. What discreetly tells the client the brand is vegan is the traditional symbol of a leaf.
About: “Good Full Stop bars offer a perfect marriage of a tasty and satisfying snack bar, while being an excellent source of nutrition. Using the finest natural, wholesome ingredients and only a ‘hint of naughtiness”
Products: Chocolate and nut bars.
My Experience: They are very healthy and the taste is far way better than many nut bars in the market. After trying all of them, I bought my favorites, that were actually new flavors: spicy and mocha.
Visual Identity: This brand caught me. They had a big stand, very colorful and fun, I had to stop and see what they were offering! Also, the sales advisor was a very friendly guy.
About: Super Cholo Foods brings you an explosion of Peruvian ingredients from the leafy English village of Lanchester, County Durham. Our premises are characteristic of our values and our commitment to environmental responsibility is demonstrated at every stage from the organic cultivation of products in Peru to the packaging activities at our local office in Lanchester. Both our products and premises are approved by the Soil Association.
Products: Maca, quinoa, amaranth, lucuma, cacao – “The vegan society recognise our products to be 100% vegan and we believe our ingredients can contribute to a healthy plant based diet.”
My Experience: To show the potencial of their food, they were offering free samples of a quinoa and cacao brownie. It was amazing. The owners are a couple: scotish girl and a peruvian guy, very friendly and talkative. It is super nice when you can meet the brand owners in person and ask them whatever you are curious about them and their brands.
Visual Identity: They had an amazing visual identity as well. Of course I need to ask who created it and surprisingly it was them. The brand colors are gold and black, which gives a fancy impression, high-quality and reliable products.
About: Vegan. Gluten-free. Raw. Whatever it takes to help you feel great and optimise your body. At Essential Healthfoods, we believe that better living shouldn’t come at the expense of happiness.
Products: chocolate, crackers, raw date bars, energy balls, superfoods and nuts
My Experience: I tried the crackers and found it very tasteful, the couple I’ve spoken was very receptive and answered my questions about the products.
Visual Identity: Besides of the logo, the packagings have a great identity. It’s interesting because the brand is all about healthy products and the visual identity is very minimalist, which reminds of medicine products, but with a touch of personality. The only different packaging is the one for the energy balls, they have a fun style, colorful and kind of childish. I’m curious to find out why this packaging is so different from the others. I’m thinking the same thing about the logo, that has a handwritten style and is very colorful.
About: Ethicoco is a vegan chocolate company, soy free, with no genetically modified ingredients. The chocolate is created in a dairy and nut free environment, and is the only bean to bar chocolate manufacturer in Hampshire.
Visual Identity: I found the Visual Identity so good that I had to ask who have created it and the owner answered he did it himself! It’s very colorful, with a handmade and organic touch. Comparing to the stands next to it, his brand was shining. Also, what impressed me the most was the paper he used for the stationery, the only eco-friendly stationery I saw there.
About: YumEarth was founded in the US by 2 Dads, Sergio and Rob. They wanted to create candy that their young children could grow up enjoying, and like the early foods their sons were weaned on, this candy had to be organic.
Products: Vegan and organic candies, jelly beans and lollipops.
My Experience: Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to interact with the staff, I just tried the product and leave, they weren’t well positioned there. But I found their products amazing, super innovative and necessary for the industry. I always have problems with candies, because every time somebody offers me a candy and I have to refuse because usually, they are not vegan. Besides, we all know how those supermarket candies can be unhealthy.
Visual Identity: Although it’s playful and colorful, the visual identity is very confusing. When you look at the packaging, you don’t know where to start reading, because it doesn’t have a hierarchy of information. A brand so innovative and interesting like that should invest in a strong and attractive visual identity, even to compete with nonvegan brands.
Green City Wholefoods
Although Green City offers non vegan products (dairy ingredients), they have a big range of vegan products. I only found out they weren’t vegan on their website. This is very upsetting. Let’s ask Green City Wholefoods to govegan!
About: “Greencity Wholefoods is a wholesaler of fine food and drink based in Glasgow. We operate as a worker co-operative. We don’t sell any products tested on animals and we only sell goods that are suitable for vegetarians. Our extensive ranges also include dietary specific products such as dairy-free and gluten-free foods.”
Visual Identity: They have a solid brand identity, that express their professionalism and transmits a great image, next to their friendly staff. The logotype has a retro style, similar to a project I’ve created recently Vegan Safe Market.
About: “Glasgow’s best kept secret, hidden gem and fav underground haunt, The Duck combines bar, diner, late night fun, event & gig space into a chilled out and unpretentious hideout.”
Products: The Duck’s food fair speaks for itself. It’s an understated, but delicious, approach to diner food. Expect bar service and burgers, macaroni cheese and decadent milkshakes (alcoholic or non), dawgs, subs and a superb banana split. Everything is free from animal produce and we’ve been working hard to provide a decent whack of gluten free options.
My Experience: I bought the Burger with Bacon and it was simply amazing. It tastes exactly like a meat burger. The best experience of the event. The beers on the photo below are from another brand called PitField’s that I will talk about later.
About: Flavors of Africa is a family concern, providing authentic African and Nigerian cuisine in particular to the discerning foodie. Our mission is to take Nigerian dishes to every home in the UK using street food, food festivals and outdoor events as our channels of engagement.
My experience: Luckly, at the end of the event, they did a sale promotion, so I could try their not so cheap wrap. It was very tasteful, a mix of different ingredients. However, when I visited their website, I got really disapointed to find out they are not a vegan company, because they offer a turkey and chicken option.
A cooking demo and pleasant talk about vegan cheese with the adorable Mel. She is very fun and speaks naturally. We could try a tiny piece of her cheese, they are good!
About: I have cooked for many people, developing a style of my own. I have spent the last few years developing and perfecting vegan cheese recipes and finding ways of cooking for my friends and family as cheaply as possible.
Their beer are awesome, very tasteful and high quality. I wish it was more accessible to buy in stores.
In Brazil, the majority of beers are considered not vegan, because they sponsor rodeos.
I found it really interesting, because it was a small but very sucessful stand at the event. What I found incredible was their sustainable thinking, that unfortunatelly I didn’t find in most of the brands that were there.
About: “The Electric Lemon is a new concept in mobile refreshment. We harness the power of the sun to turn simple, fresh ingredients into great chilled drinks on the move. Our serving vessels are all made from an exciting new material called polylactic acid, or PLA. It sounds frightening but in fact it’s made from natural starch, extracted from renewable resources like corn and sugar cane. Completely flavourless, it dissolves away to nothing in the outside world in as little as 4 months. And it’s not just the cups – the lids and straws we use are also made from PLA. And we’re constantly on the lookout for other ways in which we can reduce our impact on the planet. “