How to Win Over Flexitarian Consumers in Germany

Germany has emerged as a market leader in the plant-based industry in recent years.

With an estimated worth of USD 461.36 million, the German plant-based protein market is predicted to rise to a significant USD 574.93 million by 2029.[1] But what is driving this growth, and more importantly, what must businesses know in order to attract German consumers to the market?

In its latest New Food Hub interview, ProVeg International talked with German food industry expert, Dr Melanie Speck to answer this question, gathering her insights on the recent German Smart Protein consumer report. Dr Speck holds the Professorship for Socioeconomics in Household and Business at Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences and is a Senior Researcher at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy.

A key question that Dr Speck was asked was regarding the significance of the food environment for flexitarians when it comes to their purchasing decisions. Dr Speck explained that the setting in which food is served is vital in a consumer’s decision-making process, and leads to whether they choose to eat a plant-based dish or one based on animal products.

“People who call themselves vegan or vegetarian already know what kind of food they will eat or buy before they come into a canteen or retailer,” she said.

German style sausages
Image courtesy of ProVeg International

“But the flexitarians have not yet made their choice; they are the most important group here. Meat-eaters do not really think about vegan or veggie alternatives but the flexitarians are open-minded to them, so they are the main group that we should focus on using the food environment. Vegans won’t change anything in their main choice, but the flexitarians do every day. So this is the most important idea in building food environments.”

Focus on the food environment

As the German plant-based market continues to evolve, catering to the needs and preferences of flexitarians emerges as a key strategy for businesses aiming to capitalise on this growing trend.

With proactive measures to enhance the food environment, stakeholders can effectively engage with this dynamic consumer group, driving further growth and innovation in the plant-based food and drink sector.

Watch the New Food Hub video to unlock Dr Speck’s socioeconomic recommendations for the plant-based market, plus, her expert insights on ProVeg’s German Smart Protein survey report.

For more support on your plant-based strategy, get in touch with ProVeg’s experts at [email protected].

[1] Germany Plant Protein Market Size and Share Analysis – Growth Trends & Forecasts Up To 2029 (2024). Mordor Intelligence.

Available at: Accessed: 2024-04-24.

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