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Hardly any time to eat - ready-to-eat products are very trendy
A tour of the world's largest food fair "Anguga" shows how it is with most people's eating habits. More and more Germans eat on the go and mostly in a hurry. Because of all the appointments and projects, there is simply no time to prepare food in everyday work. A reason for the food industry to come onto the market with ever newer and ready-to-eat products. There is the pizza on a stick, which only has to be packed into the toaster and is ready to eat after a few minutes. Or egg and meat salads, which are produced in slices, are suitable for bread and can be used practically without a knife. If that's not enough, you can enjoy the apple strudel from the mug for dessert.
The so-called convenience products - meaning products for which the manufacturer has already adopted certain processing and processing stages in advance - are not new, but they are coming onto the market in ever newer versions. For consumer researcher Robert Kecskes from GfK, it has long been known: "People don't eat less, but they eat differently than before," he explains before the official opening of "Anuga".
Many families hardly eat together at lunchtime
In many households, lunch in particular no longer takes place. More and more mothers go to work and the children are accommodated in all-day care. As a result, more is eaten outside the home. Finished products are among the growth drivers.
Industry sees growing quality awareness
According to a representative study by GfK on behalf of the food industry, more customers have higher quality standards. For a quarter, more and more ethical criteria such as sustainability, fair trade or animal welfare are playing a decisive role in the purchase. Environmentally friendly, sustainable production and short transport routes are also crucial for the purchase. "People are not so cheap anymore," says Kecskes. Although increasing poverty encourages the reach for the cheapest product. Germans spend almost 12 percent of their disposable income on food. If you compare this value with other countries, it can be classified as low. A total of 6,777 suppliers from 98 countries offer their products at the "Anuga", which takes place every two years. Organic and regional offerings, fairly traded goods and innovations in the field of special nutrition, such as lactose- or sugar-free products, are particularly well represented.
Politics show little interest Reports about food scandals, such as rotten meat, dioxin eggs, horse meat in ready-to-eat lasagna or bacteria pies, have caused many consumers to rethink. Christoph Minhoff, managing director of the BVE food industry association, believes that more and more scandals are being uncovered also has to do with the increased quality demands of critical consumers. "Confidence in food has remained strong for years." The trade fair also serves the food industry to promote technical know-how, production methods and concepts for the future. Actually an ideal place for politics to discuss food quality and the supply of tomorrow. But you can't see it. Politicians are avoiding the internationally important platform "Anuga", criticizes Stephan Becker-Sonnenschein, managing director of the food industry. (fr)
Image: Thommy Weiss / pixelio.de