France Sees Continued Growth in the Organic Sector

According to French trade magazine LSA, the total organic market reached €5.5 billion in 2015, a 10% increase on 2014 figures. This growth was highlighted by President Hollande who recently opened the biggest organic hall in Europe at Rungis market. This trend has accelerated even more quickly since the end of 2015. Several TV shows were broadcast around Cop 21 in France which highlighted the dangers of pesticides in foods, potentially contributing to this growth.

Vegetarianism has become increasingly trendy in France as well adopting what is known a semi-vegetarian or flexitarian diet. A Kantar study carried out in late 2015 showed that 25% of French want to reduce their protein consumption. Those who want to reduce their meat intake also claim that they consume 59 organic products per year as opposed to the national average of 24. A study by Nutrition et Santé in collaboration with the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Toulouse (CCI) discovered that the principle concern for these flexitarians was health reasons (67%) as opposed to reasons linked to animal welfare (just 8%).

French shoppers however, still complain that the organic offer in multiple retailers does not meet all their needs and they must split their shopping between supermarkets and specialised organic stores. Although entry-level private label market share is decreasing, 31% of French consumers are turning to private-label products for their organic intake. As seen in LSA, from the 500 participants who took part in an Agence Bio/ Consumer Science & Analytics (CSA) survey, 63% of French claim they would buy even more organic products if prices weren’t so high. 

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