How One of The World’s Oldest Food Safety Standards Approaches Expiration: The Case of German Beer

Philipp Eble, Henk de Vries

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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The paper at hand contemplatesthe effect of a centuries-old national food safety standard on innovation in aglobalizing market. To that end, the case of the German Beer Industry is analysedto explicate the relationship between a longstanding beer purity decree and brewinginnovation. Over 500 years of existence the so-called “Reinheitsgebot”, nowlaid down in federal German law, has served to restrict variety and safeguardthe quality of locally-produced beers. In turn, the standard prominently shapedthe national image as well as consumer preferences across all regions inGermany. This research however demonstrates how this has overwhelmingly broughtabout adverse consequences for the international relevance of German beer in anincreasingly globalised economy, which favours diversity in tastes. Due tochanging consumption trends and the constricted innovative ability of German brewers,the findings inform government’s responsibility in standardisation for traditionalconsumer goods industries at a time of urgent need for action.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 23rd EURAS Annual Standardisation Conference
Subtitle of host publicationStandards for a Smarter Future
EditorsRory V. O'Connor, Kai Jakobs
Place of PublicationAachen
PublisherWissenschaftsverlag Mainz
ISBN (Print)978-3-95886-229-6
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventEURAS Conference 2018: Standards for a Smarter Future - Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 13 Jun 201815 Jun 2018
Conference number: 23

Publication series

NameEURAS contributions to standardisation research
PublisherWissenschaftsverlag Mainz


ConferenceEURAS Conference 2018
Internet address


  • Standard
  • Beer
  • Food safety
  • Reinheitsgebot


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