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Nutrition report 2018

Eating away from home becomes more popular

Eating out has become the norm for many people, whether it is in the form of a bread roll sandwich from a bakery or eating lunch in the office canteen or enjoying a meal with friends at a restaurant. Flexible working habits and an urban lifestyle are driving developments in supermarkets offering food on-the-go, and at street food and fast food establishments. According to the Nutrition Report 2018 published by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), Germans are not only eating out more often but they are also willing to spend more money.

"How Germany eats" — often away from home

43% of Germans eat out at least once a week according to a survey conducted by the Forsa institute. 23% eat snacks such as sandwich bread rolls every week. One-fifth of Germans go to an out-of-home dining establishment or a restaurant once a week or several times a week. According to the Nutrition Report 2018 published by BMEL, 74% of Germans eat out at a restaurant at least once a month.

The report also mentions that 57% of all employed people bring lunch from home and this still remains the most favoured option. One-third of the working population opts to eat lunch in the office canteen or at the baker's or eat at a restaurant. One-fifth of respondents said they skip lunch.

The NPD Group Germany's CREST® consumer panel concludes that away from home meals are increasing in popularity as shown by consumer growth in the German food service industry. The average German ate out over 140 times in 2016. Office catering, fast food establishments, bakeries, butchers, and food retailers will profit from this development.

At the same time, BMEL has recorded an increase in private consumption expenditure for meals consumed away from home. This is clear from the shift in lunch expenditure in the working population. The average spending rose from €6.20 in 2016 to €7.30 in 2017, an increase of almost 18 percent. Men spend an average of €7.90 for lunch, which is considerably more than women who spend an average of €6.60.

Away-from-home food market trends in Germany and Europe

The upturn in the catering industry is being felt across Europe. The CREST® consumer panel noted that five of the largest countries in Europe saw a strong growth in 2017. The away-from-home food market in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and the UK were characterised by a positive trend, which in turn is a result of economic conditions becoming more stable in these countries. According to Euromonitor, the forecasted turnover for the away-from-home food market in France alone is around 45.5 billion euros.

The most favourite meal to eat away from home is dinner

61% of Europeans said that dinner was their favourite meal to eat away from home, while 52% said they eat lunch away from home as shown in the Nielsen Global Out-of-Home Dining Survey. The first meal of the day, namely breakfast, is mostly eaten at home; only 9% of respondents from Europe eat breakfast away from home. However, Germany paints a different picture. According to the NPD Group Germany, the number of people having breakfast away from home has been steadily increasing, a factor which is beneficial to retail and fast food establishments. Germany might follow the global trend wherein away-from-home breakfast offers are the growth drivers for cafes, food retailers, and convenience shops.

Despite these developments, Germans enjoy cooking at home regularly. 87% cook at home at least once a week and 43% cook at home every day. However, there are marked differences between the genders and generations. When it comes to cooking meals at home, the Nutrition Report 2018 reveals that women cook more often than men, and younger people have more fun cooking than older people.

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