Food trends come and go, though some may be here to stay. In general German consumers lean towards healthy eating and therefore interest in where exactly the food products needed to achieve this come from, how they are manufactured and, reaching even further, the connection between the food industry and sustainability. Compared to the nutrition experience of previous generations, additional factors influencing food trends are ongoing scientific research and discoveries about nutrition, as well as the increasing availability of information in this field, be it through the work of nutritionists, coaches or looking for facts on the internet. Finally, the sheer variety in German food retail, a widespread array of choices for consumers, as well as several generations growing up without war restricting food availability and consumption are significant contributing factors to food trends developing in the first place.
Healthy eating attitudes
Germans follow various diets. While many consumers found healthy eating to be more expensive, both men and women agreed on various levels that balanced nutrition was important to them. Deciding to become a vegetarian, which means following a meat-free nutrition plan, is one way in which consumers may settle on a healthier eating option, which may be due to both ethical and nutritional concerns regarding meat sold by food retailers. Vegetarian meat products generated increasing revenue in Germany in recent years. A product attracting growing attention from consumers and specialists alike is in-vitro or artificial meat.
Another food trend growing only stronger is attention to whether groceries bought during routine shopping runs are organic. Based on the definition established by the German Food Federation (Lebensmittelverband Deutschland), food products are considered organic if they meet several criteria. They come from ecologically cultivated crops, in other words, ecological farming, which does not use chemical fertilisers and pesticides, or any kind of chemical, man-made substances to influence crop growth and livestock breeding. These practices aim both at providing 'clean' crops and products, and not damaging the environment used in farming. The majority of organic product sales was generated through food retailers, followed by stores specializing in health food. Most consumers said their interest in organic food was based on their own decision or after speaking to others already eating this way. The most frequently purchased organic grocery products in Germany included eggs, fruit and vegetables.
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