The success of VegWeek 2020

Brenda Ferretti
Campaigns manager

The sixth edition of Settimana Veg (VegWeek) was the biggest and most widely followed vegan challenge ever in Italy!
This has only confirmed our expectations: more and more people are interested in choosing a vegan lifestyle and the purpose of our project is to accompany and support them on this important path.

There were over 21,600 participants who – from 18 to 24 May – followed Elefante Veg’s recipes, Silvia Goggi’s nutritional suggestions and our tips and advice. 51.9% of them also involved family members, relatives and friends, so there were actually even more participants!

As a result of the restrictions due to the health emergency we were only able to hold online events, but this did not affect the great success of the initiative. In fact, we held live events with the nutritionist and also had a special guest: the athlete Massimo Brunaccioni, world champion of natural bodybuilding, who debunked myths relating to sport and the vegan lifestyle by answering all the participants’ questions. And, to add the perfect finishing touch, we created a live cooking course by Elefante Veg on our social networks.

But let’s get to the numbers!

Every year, at the end of the event, we offer participants a survey that allows us to draw conclusions, test the effectiveness of this initiative and receive fundamental tips that help us to improve each subsequent edition of the event.

As we have already pointed out, the increase in the number of participants compared to previous years was truly remarkable. Over 21,600 people downloaded the accompanying guide and collection of recipes, more than twice as many as in 2019.

The survey received 2,871 responses, with 13.2% of the total number of participants responding.
© Essere Animali

Most of the respondents come from northern Italy and are over 50 years of age, followed by the 20-29 age group and then 30-39.

73.1% had never participated in Settimana Veg previously, which underlines the growing interest in this initiative and lifestyle. 77.2% referred to their diet as omnivorous, vegetarian or pescatarian; only the remaining 22% were already vegan. The figure for non-vegan participants was also higher than in previous years.
More than half, excluding those who were already vegan, followed a plant-based diet for between 6 and 7 days and 85% replied that they are still following it.

97.3% achieved the target of reducing their consumption of animal products.
More than 85% of the respondents are still following a plant-based diet.
© Essere Animali

It is important to highlight once again this year that the biggest obstacle to following a vegan diet is still practicality, i.e. the difficulty of finding meals and substitutes, followed by social pressure. The percentage of those who are concerned about their health is decreasing.

We are positive that things will change: more and more companies are launching plant-based alternatives, so it is important to direct and advise people on where to find these products

The most common motivation is the desire to reduce animal suffering, followed by the desire to improve personal health and, finally, the environment.
Almost all the participants found Settimana Veg a useful experience that helped them to achieve their goal and would recommend it to a friend.

The difficulty of finding meals and products remains the number one obstacle to choosing a vegan lifestyle.
© Essere Animali

Animals saved

Here is one of the most important numbers that we like to give and that makes us truly happy: given this level of participation, in a single week and without counting the participants’ relatives, we made a calculation based on data from the University of Oxford and estimated that a total of at least 14,000 animals were saved!

To this number, we must also add the impact of those who are continuing to follow a plant-based diet and the people involved by the participants. An excellent result!

That’s all about Settimana Veg 2020 for now. Once again, we would like to thank Dr. Silvia Goggi for her valuable nutritional advice, Alessia and Eric from Elefante Veg for the fantastic recipes and Massimo Brunaccioni for his contribution on the vegan lifestyle and sport. However, a very special thank you goes to all the people who took part and who shared Settimana Veg, helping it to grow and helping to create a wonderful community where people can discuss things and find support.

We are really enthusiastic about this project and are truly excited about relaunching this wonderful event next year, with lots of surprises and new features.