The land of meat, meat and more meat has undergone a radical shift in recent years as the make up of Germany’s population has traded in their sausage for veggies, smoothies and anything else deemed humane and healthy. This change in eating habits has hit the livestock scene hard in the last decade, but the area hit the hardest has been the German pork market, and the ones being singled out for the crash are Muslims and vegetarians — both rapidly growing in the country.
Pork consumption in Germany has been on a decline over the last ten years, but in the last three years alone, the number has been on a free fall, sending the entire meat market to its lowest point since 2006.
The easiest explanation has blame being placed on the growing number of vegetarians and the healthy eco-friendly lifestyle in Germany — a group that has gone from one in a 100 to now one in ten Germans — but the rapid decent seen in the last three years has many also pointing the rising Muslim population.
As more than one million refugees from Muslim nations controversially entered into Germany in the last few years, restaurants have had to adapt their menus to offer options for the new rush of customers who, for religious reasons, will not eat pork.
Hit hardest though has been Germany’s meat producers and sausage-makers, but while some of struggled to stay afloat, others, like Ruegenwalder Muehle, have found ways to adapt.
The company has seen the market shift in many directions in its 183-year existence, and as the shun of pork has fueled a steady decline in meat sales, new veggie offerings have helped fill the sales gap. Veggie versions of schnitzel, sausage and other once popular meat staples are now accounting for 26-percent of revenue, and according to the company, the German pork and meat problem will soon lead to their non-meat products accounting for 40-percent of sales in the next few years.