Solène Quintart, Head of the CIC Aidexport Representative Office in London, presents UK market trends and talks about the assistance her team can provide to companies seeking to expand their business in the UK.
Insights into the French organic food sector
Organic food is booming all over the world and the same thing is happening in France. In fact, the sector has been constantly growing since 2007 and the sale of organic food increased to 13.2 billion euros turnover in 2020, 1.4 billion euros higher than in 2019 (+10.4%).
Who is eating organic food in France?
People under 35 years old are the driving force behind organic food consumption. However, all generations have been found to be interested in organic food. In fact, 47% of French consumers are eating organic food at least once a week, and 90% are occasional buyers.
Why are people consuming organic food?
Health is the main reason why French people eat organic food. After which consumers often cite quality, taste, and environmental reasons.
Over the last few years, we have observed new purchasing habits influencing consumers' eating patterns, particularly with the return of "home-made" food. The French are getting more and more interested in the origin of food and production methods when putting meals together. The aim of these new habits is to ensure a healthy and balanced diet at home.
Purchasing behaviour has changed, with consumers comparing product prices, checking the origin and quality of products and promoting short supply channels.
Which type of organic products do French people buy?
In 2019, the biggest contributors to organic sales were groceries, with 29% of market share, fresh fruit and vegetables (17%) and dairy products (16%). Sales of other products have recently started to increase significantly, such as alcoholic beverages and frozen products.
How is the distribution of organic products structured in France?
Mass distribution has accounted for more than half of organic sales in France (55%) in 2019. After this come specialised organic supermarkets (28%). Direct sales from producers to consumers represent 11% of the sales. However, consumers tend to buy different types of product depending on the distribution channel. Specialised organic shops are leaders in the distribution of organic fruit and vegetables (43%). Mass distribution is the leading distribution channel in the dairy sector with 82% of milk sales and almost two thirds of organic egg sales. As for direct sales, wine scores the most highly (45% of sales).
What are the most famous organic supermarkets in France?
There are many independent organic retailers in France as well as larger organic chains operating all over the country. Here are the more developed chains:
- Biocoop: Store network operating on a cooperative basis, created in 1986. It has 678 outlets (January 2021) in France and more than 6,600 listed products.
- La vie Claire: Franchise network created in 1946. It has now more than 350 shops in France.
- Naturalia: This brand has more than 200 shops, mainly located in Paris. Founded in 1973 and acquired by Monoprix in 2008, Naturalia offers more than 10,000 products.
- Biomonde: is the second largest group of independent organic shops with more than 200 shops in France; it operates on a cooperative basis. Surface areas vary from 100 to 850 square meters.
- Agence Bio
- Source: Agence Bio: Le marché alimentaire bio en 2019
- Source: Agence Bio: Edition 2021 du baromètre de consommation et de perception des produits biologiques en France
- La Vie Claire
- Bio Monde
Are you interested in developing your sales in France? CIC Aidexport has many tools and services to help you understand the market and find the right partners. Get in touch with our International Business Development Team.
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