Teen Spirit Survey | Germany

Gen Z: Food is lifestyle

According to a recent Survey among teenagers in Germany meat is still popular.
IMAGO / Maskot
According to a recent Survey among teenagers in Germany meat is still popular.

How do teenagers eat? Vegetarian, vegan, omnivorous? It is all about taste! This was the result of a study by the Teengeist Unit of Fischer Appelt in cooperation with the opinion researchers of Appinio.

It may be important for the one or other young person to present itself in the circle of friends as vegetarian or vegan. The numbers speak another language: Most important is the taste of the meal. At least that's what 64 percent of those surveyed said. Around 40 percent are satisfied if it fills them up, and for 30 percent it is important whether the products contribute to their health or promote a balanced diet. This aspect gains in importance with increasing household income: 85 percent stated that affordable food is very important to them. Animal welfare is of roughly equal importance in the purchasing decision (82 percent). In third place (81 percent) are stable food prices. Social aspects such as fair and responsible relationships between retailers and suppliers are considered important by 27 percent of respondents.

Omnivores in the majority

These findings are provided by the survey conducted by Fischer Appelt's Teengeist Unit, which regularly investigates food preferences and diets of Gen Z together with the real-time market research company Appinio. More than half of them describe their diet as omnivorous - meaning they eat both plant and animal products. Young males in particular are more likely to give this answer. In contrast, a total of 15 percent of the advised generation say they eat either a vegetarian, vegan or pescetarian diet. Vegetarians make up the largest proportion (10 per cent), while 16 per cent describe their diet as halal and 13 per cent as flexitarian.

The survey shows that animal products clearly win out over their plant-based alternatives. Younger people consume milk and dairy products almost every day or several times a week (63 percent). Meat and sausages are also on the menu almost every day at 59 percent. When it comes to plant-based alternatives, Gen Z is much more reluctant: 42 percent never reach for alternatives to milk and dairy products, and 41 percent never try substitutes for meat and sausage products.

Expression of lifestyle

For the vast majority (62 percent), food is an expression of their lifestyle. As many as 56 percent say that food plays a decisive role in their everyday lives. Most young people (60 percent) themselves register that those around them are largely not consciously concerned with their diet. As expected, social media play an important role as a source of information: around 56 percent of those surveyed use the Internet to find out about food and its processing.

And how does Gen Z snack? They prefer to snack on Haribo sweets. The brand leads this segment with 20 percent, followed by Milka (slightly more than 10 percent) and Funny-fresh with slightly less than 10 percent.

Water: favourite thirst quencher

When it comes to drinks, the generation prefers the classics. Just under 13 percent name Coca-Cola as their favorite brand. Second place, with around 11 percent, goes to the energy drink Red Bull. In third place, the young people vote for Fanta with 7 percent, Sprite takes fourth place with about 4 percent. 78 percent quench their thirst with water. Soft and energy drinks come in second and third, with 32 percent and 25 percent respectively. Young people with a secondary school leaving certificate favour energy drinks.

Monthly exchange

Where young people don't differ at all from adults and their parents is that the Corona pandemic changed eating habits, among other things. The majority, at 57 percent, feel they ate or consumed snacks rather more frequently during the pandemic.

In cooperation with Appinio, the Teengeist Unit, founded by Fischer Appelt, enters into a direct monthly dialogue with Generation Z and surveys around 1,000 young people in Germany between the ages of 16 and 19 in order to substantiate current developments and trends with concrete figures. The survey cited took place on September 14, 2021.