According to a representative survey, around twelve percent of people in Germany now eat a vegetarian or vegan diet. The avoidance of meat consumption is particularly pronounced among women and those under 30, as shown in the survey published by the Federal Association of the German Food Trade (BVLH) on the occasion of the Anuga nutrition trade fair starting on October 7th in Cologne.

Nine percent of the population eats a vegetarian diet and three percent eats a vegan diet. Another 41 percent of those surveyed described themselves as flexitarians, meaning they consciously limit their meat consumption.

According to the survey, the proportion of vegetarians was significantly disproportionate among younger respondents. At least 15 percent of those surveyed under the age of 30 described themselves as vegetarians. Among those surveyed aged 60 and over, it was only six percent. At twelve percent, the proportion of women who eat a vegetarian diet is twice as high as that of men.

According to the survey, the most important reasons for buying more plant-based products are environmental protection, animal welfare and your own health. Almost three quarters (72 percent) of those surveyed rated the range of plant-based products in German grocery stores as sufficient or just right. Around 43 percent say they would buy more plant-based foods if they were offered at a cheaper price.

Consumers: Substitute products are unhealthy

However, in the eyes of many consumers, a problem is that vegan substitute products sometimes contain more sugar, fat and salt than the animal foods they are intended to replace because of their taste. For two thirds of those surveyed, this would be a reason not to buy such products.

The survey on the topic of “plant-based nutrition” was carried out by the Forsa Institute from August 10th to 14th. A total of 1,026 people aged 18 and over were interviewed using a systematic random procedure.