Almost one in five (18%) Germans aged between 16 and 24 purchase meat-alternative products, compared with an average of one in ten (11%) across all age groups. 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, over double the German average at 7%. However, the number of German consumers who use meat alternative products declines with age with less than 3% of over 55s vegetarian and just 5% of the group purchasing meat alternatives. Amongst consumers who tried meat alternatives, almost half (48%) were occasional users with a frequency of once a month or less.
For these young consumers ethical considerations (39%) remain the main influencer of choice in favour of meat alternatives while 30% claim it is due to concerns about the environmental impact of industrial meat production. Four in ten (38%) of 45 to 54-year-olds eat meat alternatives because they are trying to eat more healthily.
Katya Witham, senior food and drink analyst Germany at Mintel, said: “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.”
However, despite the move towards eating meat substitutes there is one major hurdle in that only 14% of Germans say that they enjoy the taste of these products.