Preliminary information from the Federal Information Centre for Agriculture (BZL) in Germany shows that the long-term trend towards lower meat consumption is to continue.

In 2022, at 52kg/person, per capita meat consumption fell by around 4.2kg compared to 2021 and is the lowest it has been since consumption calculations began in 1989.

People ate around 2.8kg less pork, 900g less beef and veal and 400g less poultry. A possible reason for declining meat consumption could be the continuing trend towards a plant-based diet.

Less net meat production

The trends in German domestic demand are reflected in the net production of animals slaughtered domestically, according to BZL.

Compared to the previous year, 9.8% less pork and 8.2% less beef and veal were produced. Net production of poultry meat fell by 2.9%.

According to the preliminary figures, meat production for 2022 will be 116% compared to domestic demand (previous year – 118%).

In the case of poultry, 97.4% of domestic demand can be covered from domestic production.


Groups such as ProVeg International have welcomed the findings showing a reduction in meat consumption.

Jasmijn de Boo, vice-president of ProVeg said: “We’re really pleased to see the continued decline in meat consumption in Germany, which has been helped by people following flexitarian diets.

“This is good news for the environment, for people’s health and, of course, for animals.

“Animal agriculture is responsible for about 20% of global greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions, along with widespread deforestation, and the pollution of waterways,” de Boo added.

“It is imperative that policies are implemented to ensure that the trend seen in Germany is replicated elsewhere.”

Retail sales data from NielsenIQ covering 13 European countries shows that sales of plant-based foods have grown 6% in 2022 – and 22% since 2020 – to reach €5.7 billion.