The study, based on the responses of 10,000 German consumers, revealed that the unpredictability of the average German’s daily routine was having a significant impact on their eating habits.
A spokesman for Nestlé told FoodManufacture.co.uk that it is “…fair to assume that the findings of the study to have a resonance in other modern, developed consumer markets [such as the UK].
More than half of 20 to 29-year-olds, and more than two in five professionals reported that their daily routines were unpredictable, which had a significant effect on their eating habits.
Substitute main meals
Many said that they tended to partially substitute main meals with snacks. This trend was particularly prevalent among the under 30s.
More than two-thirds of people under 30 ate “every now and then” instead of having a regular main meal. About 17% admitted to replacing a main meal with a snack every day or almost every day.
Young single people and young couples without children were most likely to choose snacks above main meals.
Of the non-professionals who took part in the survey, 90% said that they ate breakfast, lunch and dinner at home.
But more than two-thirds of professionals had lunch outside the home. Nearly one-third (27%) usually or at least occasionally ate out for breakfast.
The Nestlé study also confirmed that options for eating ‘on-the-go’ have increased significantly in recent years.
About 41% of 14 to 29-year-olds in Germany visited fast-food restaurants at least once a month, compared with only 7% of 45 to 59-year-olds.
Two-thirds of parents with children under the age of 18, felt that too many children in had an unhealthy and unbalanced diet.
More than 55% of women said they worried very much or too much about their diet, compared with only 32% of men.
The study, entitled That’s how Germany eats/is, asked more than 10,000 people about their day-to-day dietary patterns. The research was conducted by the Allensbach Institute, the Society for Consumer Research, Ipsos Germany and the Icon Kids & Youth Institute.
The results were based on two sets of research: a preliminary study in 2009 followed by a second poll last year.