Today, I bring you the news that currywurst, the oh-so-German dish, is on the decline. New data suggests that the cut-up sausage topped with curry ketchup and curry powder is falling out of favour as more Germans embrace vegetarian and vegan diets.

This is based on a ranking published recently by a German catering provider that supplies workplace canteens where, until 2019, currywurst has been the most popular meal. But no more. In 2022, it was only the third most popular choice, with spaghetti bolognese in first and a vegetarian pesto pasta in second place. In 2021, currywurst was still runner-up. The reason for this step-by-step falling out of favour provided by the catering company is that the declining demand for currywurst comes with the trend towards more health-conscious diets and also the, in general, growing popularity for vegetarian, such as chili sin carne and vegetable curry, which came in at place 5 and 9 respectively.

So, is it time to start saying bye-bye to the currywurst? Last year, a YouGov survey found that 45% of German adults said they prefer what Germans call Döner and Brits kebab over currywurst, while 37% chose currywurst. The division primarily stemmed from age groups, as older men tended to have a strong preference for currywurst, while the younger and predominantly female crowd leaned towards being fans of Döner. And, at the end of 2018, even Berlin’s very own Currywurst Museum closed.

Admittedly, whatever happens to currywurst, doesn’t bother me too much. Never cared for it, it’s just not my kind of wurst (“the eye also eats”, as we say in German, and, in addition to the taste, I find the look of currywurst very unappealing) but what I found interesting is something else I came across when writing this column. Apparently, the drift towards meat-free diets in Europe’s largest economy has not gone unnoticed in the USA which now considers Germany “one of the most important markets for plant-based food worldwide with good opportunities for U.S. exporters”.

This is according to a report entitled Plant-Based Food Goes Mainstream in Germany, published this January by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which states that more than half of all Germans describe themselves as flexitarians, i.e., opting for less animal-based food on their plates, also saying that Germany has the highest rate of vegetarianism in Europe and the number of vegans reaching more than over 1.5 million in 2022.

The report goes on to talk about “lively vegan and vegetarian scene[s] in every major city” and recommends US companies check out one of Germany’s “first-class trade shows to get a feel for the market”. Well, to all the German food industry company’s out there, I’d say, check out this report; someone has their eyes on your market, and should more US companies show up at the usual trade shows in future, you know why…

Barbara Geier is a London-based freelance writer, translator and communications consultant. She is also the face behind, a German travel and tourism guide and blog that was set up together with UK travel writer Andrew Eames in 2010.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Discover Germany, Switzerland & Austria.

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