Knowledge for better food systems

Young Germans increasingly prone to be vegetarians

Germany has traditionally been a country with high meat consumption per capita, but a new study shows that young Germans are increasingly turning to vegetarian diets. The study market analyst company Mintel followed 1,000 people aged over 16 and their results show that nearly one in five (18%) Germans aged between 16 and 24 purchase meat-alternative products. This is comparable to the one in ten (11%) doing the same across all age groups.  A major challenge for this trend to consolidate however, is that only 14% of Germans say that they enjoy the taste of these products.

Katya Witham, senior food and drink analyst Germany at Mintel states that: “Domestic meat consumption has been slipping in recent years, reflecting a trend towards meat reduced diets and vegetarianism in Germany. With the growing ranks of consumers embracing vegetarianism and veganism or a flexitarian eating pattern, the meat alternatives category is emerging from the shadows in Germany, fuelled by demand for a healthier and more varied diet. “Young German consumers are leading this trend, they are most likely to be abstaining from meat consumption more frequently and will likely to follow this nutritional pattern in the future.”

The study further showed that almost one in four (23%) eat alternative meat products a few times a month, while 12% admit to replacing meat with meat substitutes a few times a week. As many as 15% of German 16 to 24­ year­ olds consider themselves to be vegetarians, which is over double the German average of 7%.

When it comes to motivations for changing diets, 39% of young consumers state that ethical considerations is the main influencer while 30% state it is due to concerns about the environmental impact of industrial meat production.  38% of those between 45 to 54 ­year ­old eat meat alternatives because they are trying to eat more healthily.

You can find the original report by Mintel here. See also further coverage here and here.

Find other resources on public attitudes in relation to sustainable food and vegetarianism/veganism on our website. You can also see more in the section on consumer perceptions and preferences.

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