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What’s Beef? Demand for Meat in Germany is Down a Lot!

German retail sales of meat declined in May 2022 compared to the previous month. Within one month, these two retail categories have declined by double digits in real terms equivalent to a strong decline in demand. So the question arises, what’s been driving this?

A clearer picture can be seen comparing the average spending of German people from January to May for 2021 and 2022. Whereas meat is still down by almost 8%, fish is not and surprisingly fruits and vegetables are the worst performing retail category.

We see three potential reasons for the weakness of meat demand:

  1. More and more people become vegetarians, but then why is it happening so quickly and why are fruits and vegetables down even more?
  2. In light of skyrocketing inflation, people cut back on even more expensive meat (see chart below). This would be in line with Luxury food also being down a lot.
  3. The normalisation of eating habits in year three of COVID19. People more often eat out in restaurants, which drives down the demand for meat and luxury food.

The answer is probably a combination of the above.