Individual diets change the German bakery and cereals market

Germans opt for bakery products free from gluten, wheat and lactose to support their individual nutritional lifestyle choices, finds new report from Canadean.

Bakery goods that are free from various ingredients as well as those that offer benefits such as ‘organic’ and ‘vegan-friendly’ are increasingly popular in Germany. In 2013 the German bakery and cereals market was worth US$17 billion; of this, German consumers spent US$3 billion on bakery products tailored to their personal dietary choices, such as without gluten, wheat, lactose, eggs and milk. Although some consumers have to exclude certain items from their diets due to intolerance or other medical issues, more and more are discarding what they think of as ‘unhealthy’ or ‘unethical’ ingredients from their shopping lists by choice.
Catherine O’Connor, senior analyst at Canadean, says: “In the last few years we have seen a wave of people in developed countries such as Germany wanting natural products. Lactose, gluten and wheat have become increasingly untrendy ingredients among the health-conscious, and products free from these have seen a rise in popularity. This development is directly reflected in the sales numbers.”

A trend in western countries: ‘You are what you eat’
According to Canadean’s new report, organic products are most popular when they can be tied to other benefits such as fresher and better quality. For example, a product that contains no artificial colours and flavours or additives, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) and e-numbers, can be marketed as natural and better for your health. German women in particular buy products that meet a variety of nutritional lifestyle choices, and this need is extending beyond weight maintenance, and into concerns such as brain development and digestive health. According to O’Connor: “Consumers see the products they eat as a reflection of who they are, and feel closer to brands that offer a choice that fits their lifestyle and food choices.” 

Variety in bread is popular in Germany
The average German consumes 731 bakery and cereals items per year, which is one of the highest among the major EU nations. Bread rolls, which make up 49.8% of the German bakery market, are the most popular product among the Germans. There are more varieties of breads produced in Germany than in any other country, ranging from dark and whole-grain breads to white breads, rolls and mini-breads.


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