Billed as the fair for a plant-based lifestyle, Vegan Planet combines guilt-free shopping and street food with awareness building in a lovely friendly atmosphere.
- Plenty of food & drink to buy and/or try
- …but other products too (clothes, accessories, etc.)
- Solid choice for finding gifts for vegan friends
- 2023 dates: Nov 18-19
- See also:
From shirts to snacks
(Press photo © VEGAN.AT / Mia Mayer)
Drop into a Viennese supermarket today and whole sections of shelves brim with products aimed at vegetarians and vegans.
Not that it was always so.
Let’s just say Austria used to be a largely pork-based economy, with Sundays echoing to the sounds of a million knives sawing their way through the ubiquitous Schnitzel.
Tastes change, and the annual Vegan Planet fair reflects the growing awareness of the role of dietary and other choices in all sorts of areas of life.
The two-day event showcases various firms and organisations active in promoting veganism or vegan products.
We went in 2022 and seemed to almost recoup the cost of a ticket just with the welcome package that the first thousand visitors each day received, filled as it was with snacks and other product samples.
A youthful and friendly ambience permeated the event, which had around 60 exhibitors, as well as a programme of demonstrations, talks and workshops.
Given language issues, you would probably focus on the exhibitors, who ranged from small start-ups and charities to corporate giants promoting their vegan lines.
(The first thousand visitors on each day got a goodie bag; press photo © VEGAN.AT / Emily Müllner)
Most stands (obviously) had vegan products for you to try and buy. Everything from clothes and ceramics to snacks, spices, spreads, and supplements. From soups and soaps to upcycled accessories and plant-based leather goods.
As a vegetarian, I’m no stranger to the concepts, but I admit to some surprise at the authenticity of many foods seeking to directly replace animal-based alternatives.
It may sound strange to describe Vegablum’s vegan honey as tasting like honey, but I speak as a veteran of certain vegan sausages that clearly never passed a taste test.
And you’d struggle to distinguish Revo Foods’ smoked “salmon” and “tuna” spreads from the fish versions. All of the taste with none of the guilt.
Many stands proved a treasure trove for gift buying for vegan friends. A special word of praise for Lini’s Bites and their snack bars. And NomNom by Melli’s baked delights. We didn’t try the Dulcheria pralines, but they looked awesome.
Refreshingly, it turned out many products at the fair are now available in supermarkets and other retail outlets, too. So you could try, buy, and buy later.
Vegan Planet also has a catering section with a wide range of snacks and meals. We plumped for Cauliflower Wings and Potato Pops from the MRCURRYWURST stand: both fresh and tasty.
And all solid value for money, especially if you come to the event having just experienced Christmas market prices (still love the Christmas markets, though, which now add vegetarian and vegan options to their traditional fare).
All-in-all then, a worthy time for anyone curious about vegan products or already a convert. We shall go again.
Tickets, dates and tips
Tickets to the last event were available on the door but expect online options as well nearer the time. The 2023 Vegan Planet takes place on November 18th and 19th.
The organisers also hold two outdoor festivals in Vienna during the warmer seasons: VeganMania.
How to get there
The event takes place at the MAK museum (see the bottom of that article for how to reach it).
You don’t want the main entrance to the museum, but the standalone exhibition area around to the right as you face the building from the Ring boulevard.
The MAK is quite central: the number 2 tram and U3 subway stops practically outside and the U4 subway line to Stadtpark gets you there via a walk through a lovely city park full of monuments to musical greats like Strauss.
Address: Weiskirchnerstraße 3, 1010 Vienna | Website (for the event)