Canadian Carnivores Crave Vegetarian Options

June 14, 2006
Annual veg fest paradoxically attracts meat-eaters in record numbers

TORONTO, ON: Toronto’s annual Vegetarian Food Fair is readying itself to welcome an unexpected audience on September 8, 9 and 10, 2006: the unabashed meat-eater.

Festival organizers don’t mind sharing their tofu with these unlikely visitors, however.

“The Vegetarian Food Fair is about celebrating the diversity and breadth of vegetarian culture,” states Kathleen Farley, executive director of the Toronto Vegetarian Association.  “Needless to say, you don’t have to be vegetarian to enjoy vegetarian food!”

Almost half of the 15,000 visitors to the Food Fair might agree; 46% of visitors to the 2005 event reported they were not vegetarian.

Survey results from last year’s Food Fair also revealed that among non-vegetarian respondents, a whopping 92% reported to be on the lookout for new vegetarian products –– a statistic that’s supported by consumer trends.  Though only 4% of Canadians currently self-identify as vegetarian, recently released Statistics Canada data reveal a steady downward trend since 1967 in per-person consumption of milk, red meat and eggs.

“We are definitely noticing a growing wave of public interest in healthy eating and making healthy lifestyle choices,” explains Ms. Farley.  “Our response is to showcase the exceptional range of vegetarian foods available in Toronto, and encourage people to explore this diversity.”

The 22nd Annual Vegetarian Food Fair will take place September 8, 9 and 10, 2006 at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The fair features exhibitors, food concessions, cooking demonstrations, guest speakers, workshops and musical performances.  Approximately 15,000 people attend the Food Fair every year; admission is free to the public.  For more information, the public can call 416-544-9800 or visit veg.ca/foodfair.

CONTACT:
Kathleen Farley,
Executive Director,
Toronto Vegetarian Association
416-544-9800
kfarley@veg.ca

Statistics Canada, Food Statistics 2005, vol. 5, no. 1, cat. no. 21-020-XIE.  “Table 3: Food consumed by major group, per person (1967 to 2005).”  Released June 1, 2006.