Meat consumption in Germany is dropping significantly

Meat consumption in Germany is dropping significantly

As anyone who’s familiar with traditional German cuisine knows, Germany has long been a nation that’s unapologetically fond of its meat. But that could all be about to change. A new survey has found that many people in the federal republic are consciously reducing their meat consumption - and instead turning to vegetarian and vegan alternative products. 

Germany losing its appetite for meat

Meat is apparently being consumed far less frequently in Germany than a few years ago. This was the main takeaway from the “Nutrition Report 2020”, a survey which has been published annually by the Ministry for Agriculture since 2015 and gives an insight into the country’s eating habits.

Based on a representative survey of 1.000 people, this year’s report found that only 26 percent of them reported consuming meat every day. In the first Nutrition Report, published five years ago, it was 34 percent. 

Last year, men in particular reduced their meat consumption. While 39 percent of men said in the 2019 survey that they consumed meat products daily, in 2020 this had fallen to 32 percent. The report’s authors concluded: “More and more men are no longer eating a daily portion of meat.” One in every five women said that they eat meat on a daily basis. 

This tallies with data from the Federation of the German Meat Industry (BVDF), which found that the average German consumed less than 60 kilograms of meat in 2019 - the lowest figure since the mad cow disease crisis in the 1980s and 1990s. 

49 percent have tried meat alternative products

The survey also uncovered stark differences between eastern and western Germany. Overall, 36 percent of those living in the eastern (new) federal states said that they eat meat every day. In western Germany, the share was just 24 percent. 

For the first time in the report’s history, the researchers also asked survey respondents about vegetarian and vegan substitutes. The responses showed that, while the percentage of vegetarians (5 percent) and vegans (1 percent) among the population has remained stable, more and more people - especially among the younger generation - are branching out into meat alternative products. 49 percent said that they had tried such products, and five percent that they regularly use them. 



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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