How Accepted Is The Reinheitsgebot With German Consumers?

This is part of my series to discuss 500 years of Reinheitsgebot.

This time, we’re discussing consumer acceptance, which is something, as reinheitsgebot.de claims, is very high among German consumers.

Question 7: How Accepted Is The Reinheitsgebot With German Consumers?

Their answer:

According to some study, 88 % of all people asked want beer to only be produced from water, malt, hops and yeast. 89 % of all Germans have heard of the Reinheitsgebot, in the East of Germany it is even better known than in West. 77 % of all people asked would like to see a purity law for other foodstuffs.

According to some other study, 79 % of all Germans think that German beer brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot requires special protection.

My answer:

Well, a recently published study paints a different picture: more than 60 % of the over-60 demographic said that the Reinheitsgebot is very important in their buying behaviour. On the other hand, only 25 % of the 30-and-under demographic agreed with that statement. Also, only primarily the older demographic would agree that German beer is superior to foreign beer because of the purity law. Generally, support for the purity law in Germany seems to be going down.

Another thing to point out when people ask for a purity law for other foodstuffs: it already exists. At least in the same form as it exists for beer. Germany has complex legislation that quite strictly regulates what you can and cannot put into certain food, including the requirement to declare everything that is put into the product.

If consumers want a purity law for other foodstuffs in the same restrictive manner as the 1516 Reinheitsgebot, that’s an entirely different matter, though. But then, which consumers would really like to see a limitation in bread ingredients to only e.g. water, wheat, salt and yeast? No other herbs or spices, no other grains, just an arbitrary list of ingredients. Doesn’t exactly sound appealing.

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