Bargain Hunters and Organic Fans – A German Contradiction

MICHAEL MAILLINGER
Country Manager Germany
Kantar Media
Michael.Maillinger@kantarmedia.com

STEFAN BAUER
Client Service Manager and TGI Senior Expert
Kantar Media
Stefan.Bauer@kantarmedia.com

The Germans see themselves as pioneers in healthy nutrition and sustainable food production, and believe that people in other countries are less aware of such issues. But does this self-image correspond to reality? A look at the TGI Europa study by Kantar Media shows how consumers differ across Europe – and the contradictions within German consumers’ behavior.

For example, in all countries, around 10 percent of consumers buy organic meat, but in Germany, opting for organic meat is mainstream.

The country with the highest proportion of regular smoothie drinkers is France (67 percent), while in Germany, only 35 percent drink them regularly, indicating that there could still be potential growth in the German smoothie market.

Which consumers are the most ethical? Here, the TGI Europa data shows how distorted our self-image is in Germany. In fact, a higher percentage of people in Great Britain, France and Spain agree with the statement “I like to pay more for environmentally friendly products” than in Germany. The same applies to “I only buy products from companies whose ethical attitude I can identify with”. Awareness of ethics and ecology is no longer a German peculiarity, but a European phenomenon.

Such apparent contradictions in attitude represent marketing opportunities. Consumer behavior in the 21st century is inherently conflicted: you want to have everything – the highest quality, and ecological and ethical production – and at the same time you want the cheapest prices.

Innovative products and smart communication can offer consumers solutions that correspond to their values, attitudes and behavior and help them avoid psychological conflicts. From vegan sausages to organic discounters, there are ways to help consumers balance their needs. The analysis of consumer behavior and comparisons between countries can highlight the strongest areas of potential.

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