German nutrition habits

Over the last deca­des, issu­es like sus­taina­bi­li­ty, envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and mind­ful­ness have beco­me more pre­sent in Ger­ma­ny. The­re­with, the health-con­scious beha­vi­or of the con­su­mers rose and due to their demand, the ran­ge of whole­food pro­ducts and whole­food shops grew. Even the selec­tion of healt­hy foods and bio­lo­gi­cal ori­gi­na­ted pro­ducts in drugs­to­res expan­ded. So various stu­dies sur­vey­ed dif­fe­rent age groups with regard to their nut­ri­ti­on habits, pre­fe­ren­ces, the sub­ject coo­king and more ali­men­ta­ry-rele­vant ques­ti­ons. We loo­ked into it and sum­ma­ri­zed the results of the studies.

While gro­ce­ry shop­ping, the food choices are not only deci­ded by the animal’s wel­fa­re label or the bio-label – even though they are get­ting incre­a­singly important; espe­cial­ly the fla­vor is of impor­t­ance to Ger­mans. Bes­i­des, the­re is an upward trend of buy­ing more regio­nal and sea­so­nal pro­ducts obser­v­a­ble during the last years. Par­ti­cu­lar­ly wee­kend mar­kets of local pro­du­cers are sui­ta­ble for this. Most of the Ger­mans pre­fer­a­b­ly buy their ever­y­day gro­ce­ries in a super­mar­ket, becau­se it is sim­pli­fy­ing mat­ters by being able of buy­ing ever­ything at once. Ano­t­her rea­son is, that the majo­ri­ty of the inter­view­ed per­sons want a good value for money when it comes to food.

But what kind of food gene­ral­ly ends up on Ger­man plaits? Well, for coo­ked meals it is pri­ma­ri­ly tra­di­tio­nal plain Ger­man fare, which means coo­ked pota­toes with meat and gra­vy. More than every other Ger­man eats meat pro­ducts every day. On the con­tra­ry, fish is only con­su­med by one out of 20 peop­le per day. Other die­ta­ry pro­ducts like bread and sand­wi­ches are other favo­ri­tes, which like to be sna­cked on. Ter­tia­ry are milk and milk pro­ducts like yoghurt and cheese. The­se three foods are on the dai­ly menu of over 80% of the inter­view­ed per­sons. The list con­ti­nues with fruits and vege­ta­bles, which are also eaten qui­te often.

Whe­re­as eight out of ten Ger­mans can eat wha­te­ver they pre­fer, some may be for­ced to fun­da­ment­al­ly chan­ge their diet becau­se of food into­le­ran­ces or all­er­gies. That is why peop­le with food into­le­ran­ces are com­pa­ra­tively coo­king more often than peop­le without the­se into­le­ran­ces. All in all, only every second Ger­man has time to cook. Espe­cial­ly the working popu­la­ti­on is often too stres­sed out and in shor­ta­ge of time and the­re­fo­re tend to use fas­ter die­ta­ry alter­na­ti­ves (i.e. fro­zen food) or eat out.

Many peop­le also lack the time and rest as well as the nee­ded stami­na for a las­ting healt­hy diet. Addi­tio­nal­ly, many con­si­der a con­scious diet as more expen­si­ve and time-con­suming, but that is not ine­vi­ta­b­ly the case. Wit­hin the health-con­scious inha­bi­tants, espe­cial­ly women pay atten­ti­on to the food and the own pre­pa­ra­ti­on of it. Men on the other hand sta­ted more often, that they are not able to cook. They also pre­fer to eat more meat pro­ducts than fema­le con­su­mers. Regard­less of gen­der, it is also appa­rent that youn­ger respondents bet­ween 18 and 39 years of age in par­ti­cu­lar tend to eat rea­dy-to-eat and fro­zen pro­ducts more often than other age groups. But regard­less of whe­ther they coo­ked them­sel­ves or defros­ted the food: nine out of ten Ger­mans pre­fer to eat at least once a day with peace and enjoy­ment wit­hin their own four walls. Peop­le are less likely to eat on the go: one in five say they do so regularly.

The­re is one par­ti­cu­lar cir­cum­s­tance, that still needs to be worked on urgent­ly: every year in Ger­ma­ny, around 18 mil­li­on tons of edi­ble food are thrown away. This is equi­va­lent to appro­xi­mate­ly 313 kg per second (!). Three-quar­ters of this is due to bad plan­ning alo­ne, i.e. the best-befo­re date has been excee­ded or the food has been bad.

With the SEAWATER Fish we would like to con­tri­bu­te to an over­all incre­a­se in the awa­reness of the Ger­man popu­la­ti­on for high-qua­li­ty and healt­hy food. By estab­li­shing a decen­tra­li­zed sup­ply net­work with fresh and regio­nal­ly pro­du­ced sea fish, we also aim to mini­mi­ze trans­port distan­ces and waste.


— Bund öko­lo­gi­sche Lebens­mit­tel­wirt­schaft e.V. (BÖLW): Die Bio-Bran­che 2018: Zah­len, Daten, Fak­ten. Ber­lin, Febru­a­ry 2018
— Bun­des­mi­nis­te­ri­um für Ernäh­rung und Land­wirt­schaft (BMEL): Deutsch­land, wie es isst – Ernäh­rungs­re­port 2017. Febru­a­ry 2017
— Woh­lers, K.; Hom­bre­cher, M.: Iss was, Deutsch­land – TK Ernäh­rungs­stu­die 2017. Ham­burg, Janu­a­ry 2017

Pic­tu­re source: Pixabay | RitaE