Meat substitutes: Alternatives continue to ga...
Meat substitutes

Alternatives continue to gain ground

Imago / imagebroker
Last year, not only the amount of plant-based substitutes produced increased, but also the number of manufacturers.
Last year, not only the amount of plant-based substitutes produced increased, but also the number of manufacturers.

GERMANY, Wiesbaden. The market for vegetarian or vegan imitations of meat and sausage is growing rapidly. But the gap to real meat remains huge.

In 2021, companies in Germany produced just under 17% more meat substitutes compared to the previous year, and production even increased by 62.2% compared to 2019, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). In 2021, 97,900 t of meat-free alternatives were produced, compared with around 83,700 t in the previous year and 60,400 t two years earlier.

The value of these products increased by 22.2% year-on-year in 2021 to € 458.2 mill. (2020: € 374.9 mill.). Compared to 2019, the value increased by 68%. At that time, it was € 272.8 mill. The number of companies producing in Germany also increased from 34 in 2019 and 2020 to 44 in 2021.

Despite this increase, the value of meat substitutes is relatively low compared to meat products. In 2021, the value of meat and meat products produced in Germany was €35.6 bn. - about 80 times the value of meat substitutes. However, since 2019 - for the second year in a row - a decline has been observed in the value of meat products: In 2021, it decreased by 7.8% compared to the previous year, and by 11.3% compared to 2019. In 2019, the value of meat production in Germany had reached € 40.1 bn., the highest value in ten years. The amount of meat produced is also falling in Germany, and has been since 2017. According to Destatis, commercial slaughter companies in Germany produced 7.6 mill. tons of meat in 2021, 2.4% less than in the previous year. The production volume for meat thus exceeds that of plant-based alternatives by a factor of 77.

Meat consumption in Germany at a low

In Germany, less and less meat has been consumed recently: according to the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE), per capita consumption in 2021 was 55 kg per capita. This was a decline of twelve percent compared with 2011 (62.8 kg per capita) and the lowest figure since calculations began in 1989.

Source: afz - allgemeine fleischer zeitung 19/2022; Destatis


With our free newsletters, we can provide you with the most important industry news and useful practical tips from Germany and around the world.