A new German study shows that sustainability as a driver of innovation

Christoph Minhoff, Managing Director of BVE, stressed that sustainability is not a trending topic for the food industry but is in the industry’s interest.

“Our study shows how diverse and innovative German companies are when it comes to sustainability and how it is implemented in many facets – from new raw materials to higher ethical standards and technological approaches, everything is included”, did he declare.

The results of the study show that sustainability has long been a key driver of quality and innovation and therefore also an important factor for more added value and competitiveness for companies in Germany. For example, the production of plant-based alternatives to meat increased by 39% from 2019 to 2020: production rose from 60,000 tonnes to over 80,000 tonnes for a value of 375 million euros. In addition to the pure increase in volume, the variety has also increased: between 2017 and 2020, the number of new products in the meat substitutes sector in Germany increased by around 8% per year. The market for milk substitutes has developed even more dynamically.

But meat also continues to be consumed at a high level. The annual production value of meat and meat products is 100 times that of meat substitutes and amounted to around 38.6 billion euros in 2020.

But meat consumption has also changed and is becoming more sustainable. Since 2017, more and more meat products have been introduced that offer additional durability properties compared to conventional products. Compared with 2016, the range of products meeting increased ethical standards has almost tripled.

A dynamic of development can also be observed in food packaging. The demand for less packaging materials has led to increasingly intelligent packaging, with recycling playing an increasingly important role and alternative materials being used to conserve natural resources.

According to the study, the need for information is also increasing. In the interaction of supply and demand, food manufacturers in Germany and around the world are responding to the demand for more information with a transparency offensive of additional information and labels on the packaging. , QR and tracking codes with additional information and detailed website information. .

“This development shows how much the current restructuring of our industry is based on ingenuity and technology and how we are constantly reacting to the needs of consumers. These products can only be used in the long term if the added sustainability pays off. let everyone involved survive in the market, “says Christoph Minhoff.” Sustainability should not be interpreted negatively as long as it goes hand in hand with giving up, restrictions or hindsight. Instead, the German food industry wants to make sure that natural resources are preserved, but that the joy of eating and enjoying is preserved. “

Anuga is the world’s largest trade fair for the food and food industry.

The study is available for download here.

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