The trend in terms of eating habits is apparently moving in the direction of convenience products. Germans take less time to eat and are therefore increasingly turning to this type of ready-made meal.
The world’s leading food fair “Anuga” ended yesterday in Cologne. This takes place every two years and shows the latest trends in eating habits in Germany. So-called convenience products and ready meals are not new, but they are enjoying steadily growing popularity.
Convenience products as a trend
The eating habits of Germans are gradually changing. This is because solid, regular meals are becoming increasingly rare in everyday life. For people who work, the lunch break is often too short to eat properly. Convenience products are therefore in vogue, as they have skipped some processing stages and can be prepared and consumed both quickly and easily. For example, there are schnitzel from the toaster, pizza on a stick or meat salad in slice form, which can be placed on bread and thus eaten without cutlery. The manufacturers of convenience products are always coming up with new ideas to keep up with the trend in German eating habits. Another consequence of the lack of time is that meals together within the family are becoming increasingly rare. Most households do not have lunch together. If both parents work full-time and the children are cared for in a day-care center, there is only the chance to eat together in the evening or on the weekend. In addition, people eat away from home more often or use convenience products. At the same time, however, awareness of high quality food has also increased. According to a representative study by the market research company GfK on behalf of the food industry, a good quarter of Germans believe that ethical criteria determine their eating habits. Sustainability, fair trade, animal welfare and regional and seasonal products are gaining in importance.
No political support
The food industry has been plagued by serious scandals in recent years. Mad cow, rotten meat, horse meat sold as beef, dioxin eggs, germs in supposedly healthy sprouts or bacteria in ready-made cakes have repeatedly spoiled consumers’ appetites. But although the “Anuga” offers an ideal platform to identify trends in eating habits and to discuss the quality of food, politicians stay away from it, as Stephan Becker-Sonnenschein, managing director of the food industry, criticizes.