France is Europe’s 2nd largest market for organic goods following Germany. As explained in a recent the French organic food market was worth 9.7bn€ in 2018. Purchases of organic food now represent 5% of all food purchases in France.
The 2019 barometer of consumer behaviour carried out by the French “Agence bio” identifies 7 types of French consumers according to their values and needs. Over 60% of the French population trust the information supplied on organic products and over 74% of this group purchase organic products at least once per month. However over 45% of the consumer types that feel the least concerned by organic products still purchase at least once per month. The main 5 reasons given by French consumers for consuming organic products are 1. To maintain good health, 2. Product quality and taste, 3. To protect the environment, 4. Animal welfare 5. Due to greater availability.
Higher availability of organic products in mainstream retailers have helped raise awareness and accessibility. Sales of these products in France represent between 2.3% and 8.1% of overall turnover of the mainstream retail group with Monoprix showing the highest weight at 8.1% of their turnover and Lidl the lowest at 2.3%. Specialised organic retailers continue to be an important outlet for sales of organic products, representing 33% of organic goods market share. Biocoop, La Vie Clair, Les Comptoirs de la Bio, Biomonde and Naturalia are the top 5 specialised organic retailers in France.
The top-selling categories are grocery goods, fruit & vegetables, dairy and meat with the latter 2 categories show strong growth, of close to 20% for sales 2018 compared to 2017.
Organic certified products represent an obvious opportunity in the French market with several years of strong double-digit growth. This is simply a reflection of larger European trends as described in an earlier Food Alert and of global trends as described in Bord Bia’s Lifestyle Trends.