Future trend vegan and vegetarian diet

vegan and vegetarian diet

On behalf of Kulinaria Deutschland, the Cologne-based market and opinion research institute rheingold conducted a nutrition study in recent weeks. The aim was to find out the current trends in vegan and vegetarian nutrition, particularly with a focus on culinary products from the areas of soup, vinegar, sauces, delicatessen, salads, mustard as well as baking mixes and desserts. The clear result: giving up meat is an increasing and continuing trend. However, consumers expect support from manufacturers.

The study was conducted in cooperation with Kulinaria Deutschland.


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Press Release

While Sunday roast still belonged on the family table in the sixties, vegan or vegetarian alternatives are becoming increasingly popular today. Kulinaria Deutschland was interested to find out what reasons consumers have for giving up meat and whether this is merely a short-lived fashion or a long-term social change in diet. Together with the rheingold institute, Kulinaria conducted the study with a qualitative and a quantitative part. First, the motivation and background of the interviewees to give up meat on a daily basis were discussed in 20 depth psychological interviews of two hours each. To verify the results, a second qualitative part involved a survey of 1,000 people on access motives, decision-making aids and difficulties with this form of nutrition.

Four motivation types for vegan/vegetarian nutrition

There are many reasons for eating vegan or vegetarian food: from a more conscious diet to animal or climate protection, religious reasons, high meat costs, health aspects, and taste aversion to meat, there are various motivations for no longer eating meat. In most cases, consumers have several reasons for not eating meat.

This diversity is also reflected in the study results, which are categorized into four overarching access motives/types:

1. type self-preservation

This is more of an "involuntary" dietary change. Mostly, these are older consumers with health problems (e.g. high cholesterol or cardiovascular diseases) and conservative eating habits. The change is difficult.

2. type self-optimization

Across all age groups, this group tends to eat functionally, and self-optimization takes precedence over pleasure. The goal is fitness, slimness and "eternal youth. Very focused and disciplined, food is tested for nutritional values and healthy content.

3. type world conservation

The mostly younger consumers and preferably women have ethical reasons and ideals as the reason for choosing a meat-free diet: climate protection, animal welfare, environmental protection and fairness are the drivers here. The group wants to "do the right thing" and "be on the good side.

4. type world discovery

World explorers enjoy eating. The quality of the food is in the foreground. There is a pronounced desire to discover and taste. Eating is a sensual experience here, and shopping is part of the pleasure.

Phases of development of the change of diet

An important finding of the study is that there is a great deal of social pressure to avoid meat. This generates a high degree of self-idealization, i.e. how would the consumer like to be and what is socially desirable? Desire and reality, i.e. how vegetarian a vegetarian really eats, are sometimes somewhat further apart.

After the decision to eat a vegan or vegetarian diet in the future, the study revealed four developmental phases of the dietary change:

  1. To "get started," people often look for products that are close to meat and are based on their previous eating habits (e.g., vegetarian Bolognese).
  2. The second step is to open up to new product discoveries. "First discoveries" are sought via role models in recipes and in social media.
  3. "Demanding complexity" between the old and new eating habits is evident in the third developmental step. Here, consumers move back and forth between search, disorientation and ambivalence. Only gradually do meat substitutes become less important.
  4. The last step of development is the "New Determination". New habits, favorite dishes and products develop. For many decided vegans/vegetarians, meat disgust sets in after a longer period of time. Particularly positive is the complexity reduction with the purchase. No more long searches, no more ambivalences.

The irreversibility of the renunciation of meat

The results of the interviews were clear: After a phase of abstinence, no one returns to completely unconcerned meat consumption. Even though meat and sausage products are selling well, a paradigm shift has taken place. The shift in social opinion and attitudes toward meat avoidance can no longer be reversed, even if actual implementation (keyword: self-idealization) sometimes still lags behind somewhat.

Requirements for manufacturers and trade

It turns out that giving up meat is an increasing and continuing trend. However, the path to giving up meat is not easy. In the transition phase , consumers stumble between their old eating habits and the joy of a new life without meat. The interviews showed that consumers would particularly like support from manufacturers in the jungle of the new world of nutrition. More transitional products are in demand here on the way to the Veganer/Vegetarier, in addition, products in lower price ranges for everyone. Particularly important to consumers is guidance from manufacturers, such as the use of clear seals, for quickly finding vegetarian/vegan products or also in the clear identification of animal and vegan products. In addition, the fun and pleasure of eating should not be neglected thanks to exciting vegetarian/vegan recipes and dishes. A beautiful new design makes consumer hearts beat faster and then makes it even easier to reach for the vegan product.

Key Facts about the Study:

Qualitative part

  • 20 depth psychological rheingold interviews á 2 hours nationwide
  • 13 women, 7 men
  • 25-55 years

Quantitative part

  • Sample of 1,000 vegetarians and vegans nationwide
  • 562 women, 435 men, 3 divers
  • 18-55 years

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