29% of Germans Plan to Reduce Meat Consumption Following Coronavirus Cases in Meat Industry

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Following a major coronavirus outbreak in a German meat processing plant, a survey carried out by YouGov has found that almost a third of respondents are considering reducing their meat consumption even after the end of the current situation.

Market research and data company YouGov surveyed over 2000 Germans to find out how they felt about the recent cases of COVID-19 in the meat industry. It found that 56 percent of respondents were in favour of removing all meat produced by affected companies from supermarket shelves. 27 percent were concerned about catching the virus as a result of eating infected meat.

Three-quarters of those surveyed were in favour of imposing a lockdown on the affected district, and the figure was even higher among over-55s at 82 percent. However, it reduced to 64 percent among those in the 25-34 age range.

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While 52 percent of Germans did not intend to change their eating habits, 29 percent said they expected to reduce their meat consumption due to the outbreak.

Similarly, 20 percent of consumers in the UK have been eating less meat since the pandemic began, and many plant-based companies have experienced increased sales.

But meat consumption in Germany has been declining since well before the coronavirus pandemic. A recent survey in the country found that only 26 percent of participants ate meat every day, down from 34 percent in 2015. Participants cited a range of reasons for reducing meat consumption, from curiosity about plant-based products to animal welfare and environmental factors. 55 percent described themselves as flexitarians.

“Consumers in Germany are eating an increasingly varied diet,” said Julia Klöckner, Federal Minister of Food in Germany. “A balanced diet does not include meat and sausage every day. The number of those who deliberately avoid them has increased.”