Market Intelligence
Food and Beverage Franchising Germany Export Strategy

Germany Healthy Eating Franchise Trends

Healthy fast-casual dining segment of the franchise market in Germany is growing.

The German dining culture includes fast and casual dining on healthy food options. Recent trends in the quick service restaurant (QSR) and fast-casual dining segments show that Germany is interested in concepts that focus on healthy, fresh, and local ingredients. Germans place high value on the quality and taste of food. “Bio” food has been popular since Germany pioneered organic farming in the 1920s, and recent statistics from the German Ministry of Agriculture show that even now, younger consumers are more interested in buying organic, healthy products. Across Germany, consumers seek out locally sourced ingredients not only for quality and taste, but because environmentalism and sustainability are important values as well.

Competitive Landscape

Low carb options, fresh bowls, vegetarian alternatives, superfoods, and salads are among some of the trends in QSR and fast-casual restaurants in Germany. Three examples of successful German concepts are:

- Dean and David – Salads, bowls, curries, smoothies and more, using only fresh ingredients that are free from flavor enhancers, colors, and preservatives.

- immergrün – Germany’s market leader in freshly prepared smoothies, juices, salads, wraps and potato bowls.

- Heidi und Paul – Authentic, fresh, handmade burgers, wraps, soups and salads, sandwiches and smoothies focused on natural, healthy, and regional ingredients.

The market for traditional fast food is extremely competitive. McDonalds, Burger King, and Subway are established competitors that have a strong foothold in the QSR market. Germans prefer authentic food concepts, and international options like döner (Turkish kebab), and Asian-Pacific cuisine like Coa (Asian wok and rice bowls) and POKÉ YOU (fresh fish, Hawaiian style) make the QSR segment even more competitive. Mexican food and Southwestern flavors are currently in favor. Traditional American dishes, for example, the flavors of the Deep South, are not yet well-known in Germany.

Local foods and traditions are also important to Germans, particularly in Southern Germany. Traditional fast food concepts must be able to compete with inexpensive and easily prepared German foods like sausages and pretzels. German bakeries are popular and provide a variety of quick options like sandwiches and bread rolls.

Due to the geographical proximity to Italy, the German taste for pizza is shaped by Italian flavors. Italian restaurants that source locally are perceived as healthier, and sometimes less expensive, compared to American-style pizza. Domino’s and Pizza Hut are established brands in the German market and direct competitors. New Italian concepts, such as Mama, satisfy the German taste for Italian food with healthy offerings of low-carb pizza, gluten-free dough, and vegan dish options.

For more information contact CS Germany