The German alternative-meat market is booming, according to the country’s federal statistics office, Destatis Statistische Bundesamt.

It has reported that, in 2021, German companies produced almost 17% more meat substitutes than in the previous year, with production increasing by 62.2% compared to 2019.

In 2021, 97,900t of meat substitutes were produced, compared to around 83,700t the year before and 60,400t two years earlier.

The value of these products increased by 22.2% year-on-year to €458.2 million in 2021, up from €374.9 million in 2020. Compared to 2019, the value increased by 68.0%; at that time, it was €272.8 million.

The number of companies producing these products in Germany also increased from 34 in 2019 and 2020 to 44 in 2021.

Value of meat produced around 80 times higher

Despite this increase, the value of meat substitutes is relatively low compared to meat products, the statistics office said.

In 2021, the value of meat and meat products produced in Germany amounted to €35.6 billion – around 80 times the value of meat substitutes.

Since 2019, however, for the second year in a row, there has been a decline in the value of meat products.

In 2021, it fell by 7.8% compared to the previous year, and by 11.3% compared to 2019. In 2019, the value of meat production in Germany reached €40.1 billion, the highest value in 10 years.

Meat consumption at a low level

In Germany, less and less meat has recently been consumed.

According to the Federal Institute for Agriculture and Food (BLE), in 2021 this worked out at 55kg/capita.

This was a decrease of 12% compared to 2011 (62.8kg/capita) and the lowest value since the calculation began in 1989.

According to Destatis, meat substitutes are included in the category “vegetarian and vegan food preparations, for example vegetarian spreads, tofu products, vegetarian or vegan foods that appear to resemble sausage on the outside”.

In addition to vegetarian spreads, soya patties or tofu, these include vegetarian sausages, for example.