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Food and drinks’ trends in France

Posted: 10th September 2018

According to Camille Harel at LSA-Consommation, the French food market is going through a deep transformation with the emergence of gluten-free, lactose-free, vegan, organic products and so on.

Indeed, the French have more and more an appetite for alternative products. According to a Bjorg, Bonneterre and Compagnie’s study carried out by OpinionWay last September, only 4% of the persons surveyed are buying organic products or Fair Trade products.  The rest are mixing up alternative with conventional products. The main obstacle is price. However, more and more French people are ready to spend more on fruits and vegs (55%), meat (39%), eggs (37%) or dairy products (31%). Food intake is also changing. 9% of the French are avoiding entirely specific products such as lactose (17%), or gluten (14%). 17% have opted for a specific diet amongst which 11% call themselves flexitarians, 2% vegans, and 1% vegetarians. The study shows that a new type of consumer is emerging: the flexitarian. Even if its proportion represents a minority (11%) it keeps on growing as shows the strong growth for vegetal products in 2016: +58%. Opting for those new diets matches a change of lifestyle motivated by the will to be healthier (53%), environmental protection (39%) and animal rights (31%).

These trends are aligned with what Toby Pickard presented earlier this year. Indeed, Toby Pickard, trends and innovations analyst at the Institute of Grocery Distribution highlighted key trends that would characterize supermarkets in 2018. Amongst them, healthy-eating, where veggie, vegan, free-from labels were forecasted to be amongst the most dynamic segment and on which retailers’ investments would be a priority.

Toby Pickard also took a look at private labels going premium. “Private labels enable retailers to differentiate themselves. Increased investments from retailers into private labels will lead to additional sales, but also to a higher pressure on costs. Brands will have to ensure that their products are superior in order to justify their price”, says Toby Pickard.

Focusing on the drink market, and more specifically on the soft-drinks segment, energy drinks’ weak penetration rate in France compared to larger European markets means they have a strong potential. Indeed, while soft-drinks were up +0.4% in value in 2017, energy drinks were the 3rd contributor to the soft-drinks market in value and in volume. Their turnover was up +7.6%, equivalent to €199.9M. « Energy drinks are valued, with an average price per liter three times superior to the price of a soft-drink. With a penetration rate of 10% energy drinks have a strong potential for growth » says Guillaume Vetillart, associated director brands and innovations at Coca-Cola European PArtners France.

To be kept informed of trends from other segments and on development opportunities on the French food & drinks market, you can follow Sutralis on Twitter @SUTRALIS.

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