How do you recognize regional food?

  • The term region is not defined by law
  • Freshness, flavor and climate protection thanks to short transport routes
  • How do you recognize regional food?

Regional food is particularly in demand and sells well. Many consumers are willing to pay more for regional products. That is why producers like to advertise with it. But not everything that says “regional” is also regional. FROM The term region is not protected or defined by law. It is used very differently in retail, but also by consumers. Nevertheless, there are some features by which regional products can be recognized.

What is a regional product?

Does regional mean that the product is produced in a specific area? Do all ingredients in a product have to come from one region or only a part? Is your region the area around where you live, your county, your federal state, or a landscape such as the Franconian Forest? Deadline The region is not legally defined. So maybe? each producer and seller writes regionally about the product. For example, you may find local coffee on sale because it is roasted locally, but the coffee beans are from overseas. For example, the dealer designates all of southern Germany as one region. Such a product may have to travel a long time to reach you, and then it will not be as fresh anymore.

Many of the foods advertised as regional come from far away. AND regional product but should? produced, processed and sold in a specific region will be. You should ask and read the labels carefully: What does regionality mean in this product? Where does the product actually come from? Generic lettering like “from the region” or “home made” say without exact location Thread. By the way, the designation also means: Ecological does not equal regional: Organic products can also be imported. “As high demand exceeds domestic production, trade imports organic products,” explains the Federal Environment Agency. For example, at discounters, you will often find EU organic products that are cheaper than German rather than regional ones.

There are many good arguments as to why regional food is so popular: Regional fruit and vegetables are becoming popular harvested ripe and tasty therefore usually better. This is freshbecause it only covers a short distance between the harvest and the consumer. Short transport routes means too lower CO₂ emissions and thus greater protection of the climate. If you buy regional groceries, you support us Local producers and agriculture.

Food origin labeling

Origin labeling is required by law for some food groups required: in unprocessed fruits and vegetables, honey, unprocessed meat and organic products. Nevertheless, the information is often imprecise (“German origin”). It should be Generation address to be named. Or at least this one? place of origin or one clearly defined region. For eggs, the origin can be found in the egg code: x-DE-09 xxxx shows the country (here: DE for Germany) and the federal state (here: 09 for Bavaria). On the other hand, the address on the package only says where the eggs were packed. The addresses on the packages do not say anything about the origin of the raw materials.

This EU mark “Protected Designation of Origin” (PDO), clearly informs about the origin of the product. Foodstuffs labeled in this way must be produced, processed and manufactured in the defined area according to certain criteria. This includes, for example, the Allgäu Emmental. Unfortunately, this mark is only found on a few foods. For the sign “Protected geographical indication” (PGI) but it needs only one of the three, generation, processing or Production takes place in the region of origin. Such products are Nuremberg sausages or Swabian spatulas.

this The federal state seal of approval such as “Certified Quality Bavaria” or “Certified Quality – Hesse” are also not always reliable. Criteria for products vary widely from state to state, and raw materials do not always come entirely from state. Also Brand names with regional reference or regional specialties with a protected geographical indication do not guarantee regional origin. Producers can register and protect designations of origin as an independent trademark. This does not mean that the raw materials or ingredients have to come from or be processed there.

Regional initiatives and regional windows

regional initiatives are associations of smaller producers or restaurateurs who jointly sell their regional food. Naturally, regional fruits and vegetables can also come from heated greenhouses. It is also possible that animal welfare is not or only marginally considered. However, you can check this more easily in your immediate vicinity than with products from a distance. Some regional marks guarantee in addition to regional origin in addition quality, environmental or social standards. With a large number of initiatives with different criteria, it is difficult to keep up. On the regional portal you can look for regional initiatives all over the country and inform about their criteria.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture (BMEL) has a regional window since 2014. Manufacturers can use it freely label your regional products. The regional window is designed to provide nationwide information about the region of origin of the product and the number of regional ingredients used. However, this does not guarantee that the product is sourced from the region. In the case of processed products, the share of regional ingredients must be only 51%. The consumer center therefore advises you to take a closer look: where does the product come from? Are two or more federal states identified as the main region? Where was the product processed? How far were the transport routes? How high is the share of regional components?

FROM Customer service in Bavaria offers an overview of the characteristics of regional dishes in Bavaria. Here you will also find pictures of the respective labels and seals, so you can immediately recognize them when shopping.

Here you can buy regional groceries

  • Direct Marketing via Farm Store, Weekly Market or Vegetable Subscription: Here you can often get products directly from manufacturers. One may ask how and where fruit and vegetables were grown, where the raw materials for processed products came from, or what are the conditions for animal husbandry. Information on direct marketing is available from the agricultural chambers of the Länder. Vending machines filled with regional products are also appearing in an increasing number of places.
  • Health food store, supermarket and discount store: You will also find local products. They can often be found on their own labeled shelves or displays. But you need to take a closer look to see if these are really regional goods.
  • Cooperative stores, shopping groups, grocery bars: You receive products from selected farms. However, some of them can also be purchased rather than regional. Each initiative has its own rules. You can also set up a pub with friends, neighbors or co-workers to organize purchases on regional farms. Such communities are self-governing and non-profit. You can find tips on this in the Network Neighborhood.
  • Regional grocery stores online: For example, at the initiative of market enthusiasts. Here you can order groceries directly from producers in the region and pick them up later at a real market. This way you have personal contact with the producers of your food. You save car trips to nearby farms. You enable farms to collect or produce products as needed. At Marktschwarmer, you can only sell products that the sellers have produced or processed themselves.


Regional cuisine has many advantages: You get freshness and flavor. You know where your food comes from. You buy climate friendly and strengthen your region. But labeling in trade is unfortunately confusing. The regional term should encourage purchase. So look carefully where the regional goods come from. Search specific locationsto identify original regional products. Use different labels and sealsfor more information. You are buying in direct producersyou can check the origin carefully.

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