German meat consumption declines

Lowered consumption could be due to adoption of plant-base diet
calendar icon 4 April 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

According to a government press release, per capita consumption of meat in Germany fell by 2.1 kilograms compared to 2020, a new record low since calculating consumption in 1989. This is shown by the preliminary data of the Federal Information Center for Agriculture (BZL). In total, meat with a carcass weight of 8.3 million tons was produced in 2021 - around 2.4% less than in the previous year.

Per capita consumption fell by 1.2 kilograms in 2021 compared to the previous year for pork, by 600 grams for beef and veal and by 200 grams for poultry meat.

Possible reasons for a decrease in meat consumption could be the tendencies towards a plant-based diet. The continued pandemic-related lower out-of-home consumption in restaurants or at events could also have influenced this development.

Fewer imports, less net production

As in the previous year, decreasing consumption was accompanied by a decline in imports of meat, meat products and canned food from pigs, cattle and calves (-6.8%). The import of poultry meat was almost constant.

Furthermore, the volume of foreign trade with live animals decreased again in 202. In particular, imports fell by almost a fifth (19.6%) over all animal species, exports decreased by one percent.

The trends in foreign trade affect the net production - of domestically slaughtered animals: 2.4% less pork was produced compared to 2020. Net production fell by 1.6% for beef and veal as well as poultry.

Self-sufficiency rate at 121%

According to the preliminary figures, there is an overall degree of self-sufficiency for meat of 121% for 2021 - an increase of 2.5 percentage points. The degree of self-sufficiency for pork is 132.4%, for beef and veal 98.2%. In the case of poultry, 96.7% of domestic demand can be met from domestic production.


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