The Nestlé food corporation regularly studies consumer eating habits. The latest issue, entitled “So is(s)t Deutschland 2016” (How Germany eats 2016) also contains interesting information for professional gastronomists, as the study concludes that eating habits have generally changed. Continuously increasing mobility resulting in eating out more is an important factor, but also a more conscious approach to diet has an effect on preferences. For 95 percent of respondents, “good food and drink” is part of the quality of life nowadays. Nearly two-thirds reward themselves with a good meal, which is a considerable increase over the last five years. In the last survey in 2011 this figure was only at 42 percent. Health awareness while eating has also increased significantly: about one third of people consciously restrict meat consumption and 4 percent are now vegetarians or vegans. Reportedly, more and more consumers are prepared to pay less attention to price and more attention to food quality. Key criteria here include taste, food safety and naturalness. Animal welfare and the absence of genetic engineering combine to form fourth place. Almost half the respondents would be willing to pay more for ethical treatment of animals (46% compared to 34% in 2011). And another point likely to continue to have an impact in the future is the makeup of gastronomic offerings: according to the Nestlé study, six percent of respondents describe themselves as lactose intolerant and four percent consciously avoid foods containing gluten – even though only one percent of Germans are actually gluten-intolerant.
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