From 2020 onwards, there has been a major change in everyday lives of most Germans due to the pandemic, with overall lower mobility, yet at the same time, local consumers are generally paying greater attention to hygiene and health. Alongside the pandemic, there has been a growing proportion of Germans – traditionally heavy consumers of meat – shifting to lower meat consumption, or even towards vegan or vegetarian diets.
Alternatives to meat have been present for years in Germany, but it was only since the beginning of the pandemic that this trend has accelerated in the country. Therefore, it is unsurprising that free from meat meat and seafood substitutes was the strongest performer within free from in 2021.
German society is changing slowly but steadily and a rethink is taking place in many areas. Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in Germany and has not only been a topic for the Green Party or the Fridays for Future movement, but also increasingly becoming a focus for many areas of local consumers’ lives.
Even as the threat of the pandemic wanes, demand for free from is expected to continue to grow in Germany. Although the pace is expected to slow somewhat from 2022 onwards, the category is still expected to record a strong overall performance, which means that free from will continue to play a leading role in expanding health and wellness as a whole.
With rising sustainability concerns and reduced meat consumption in Germany on the whole, an increasing number of products are likely to enter free from meat over the forecast period to leverage the category’s further growth potential. The relevance of sustainability given the growing climate crisis, efforts to reduce global warming and animal welfare are topics of great importance, especially among younger Germans.
Free from gluten is particularly established in baked goods and ready meals. Traditionally, these products were mostly purchased by consumers who were intolerant to gluten, but by 2021, rising sales were driven by Germans who now consider gluten to be detrimental to their health.
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This category includes free from gluten, free from lactose, free from allergens, free from dairy and free from meat products. This excludes foods which are certified ‘free’ of a specific product when this is based on use of sterilised equipment.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Food Intolerance research and analysis database.
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