No more 'vegetarian schnitzel'?

Wisconsin State Farmer


A ‘vegetarian Currywurst’ is presented in Bamberg Germany. Germany’s agriculture minister is calling for a ban on names such as “vegetarian schnitzel” for meat substitute products, which he argues are misleading.

As plant-based products increasingly curry favor with consumers in Germany, the state's agricultural minister wants to ban meat names for these foods because he says they are misleading to customers.

On the chopping block would be names such as "vegan curry sausage" and vegetarian schnitzel."

"I favor them being banned in the interest of clear consumer labeling," Christian Schmidt, the agricultural minister, told Germany’s newspaper Bild on Wednesday. "I don't want anyone to pretend that these pseudo-meat dishes are actual meat dishes," Schmidt added.

Schmidt also called for schools to serve pork and other meat products as part of diets for children.

Lobbying groups the German Farmers Association and German Butchers Association have also called for a ban on names such as "vegetarian ham" or "soy steak," according to Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

Schmidt made a similar request in October but the German Vegetarian Association rebuffed it, saying "names that are used for animal-based products should without a doubt also be legal to use for vegetarian substitute products," Deutsche Wellereported.

Revenue for vegetarian and vegan products in Germany have increased more than 100% between 2010 and 2015. The demand for meat products dwindled by about 10%, according to a research paper by the Institute for the Study of Trade.