Meat consumption in Germany fell to record low in 2023

Meat consumption in Germany fell to record low in 2023

Each year the trend continues. In 2023, meat consumption in Germany fell to a low not seen since records began in 1991, preliminary figures from the Federal Information Centre for Agriculture (BZL) have revealed.

Germans eat 51,6 kilograms of meat every year

In 2023, people in Germany ate 0,8 percent less meat than they did in 2022. The annual figures published by the BZL reveal that meat consumption continues to decline significantly in Germany, despite animal products being a significant part of German cuisine.

Last year, 51,6 kilograms of meat was consumed per capita in Germany, compared to 52 kilograms in 2022. 

“One of the reasons for the decline in meat consumption is likely changing diets,” the BZL proposed in a press release, in tandem with a “generally increased awareness of the impact of high meat consumption on our health, the climate and the environment".

According to the German government, “Farming generates around 8 percent of Germany's greenhouse gas emissions, primarily through animal husbandry and the use of fertilisers.”

Which meats are becoming less popular in Germany?

In 2023, it was first and foremost cows that disappeared from dinner plates across Germany. Beef and veal consumption dropped by more than 5 percent to 8,9 kilograms per person. 

Sausages came second, with consumption falling by 2 percent to 27,5 kilograms per person throughout 2023. 

However, it was a different story for Germany’s hens; chicken consumption increased by 900 grams, to 13,1 kilograms per person.

Meat production also decreased in 2023

According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), meat production also fell by 4 percent. Slaughterhouses in Germany produced 6,8 million tonnes of meat in 2023, 280.200 tonnes less than the previous year.

These 6,8 million tonnes were made up of 47,9 million pigs, cattle, sheep, goats and horses, alongside 702,2 million hens, turkeys and ducks slaughtered last year.

As more people turn towards the growing number of vegan and vegetarian options available in German supermarkets, 2023 marked the seventh consecutive year that meat production was down in the federal republic.

Thumb image credit: Photology1971 /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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