Organic foodThe Chaire Grande Consommation ESSEC in partnership with Nielsen reveals consumer trends for organic products in France.

Organic, ecological, environmental responsibility…are terms which have been used in France for many years to such a point that people no longer seem to believe very much in their real and tangible impact on the behaviour of the French and their consumer patterns.

However, for two or three years now, France has begun to feel a slight though palpable change. And what if 2016 were to be a turning point? All the indicators seem to point towards it. The mindset is changing in France – and quickly. And the consumption of organic products has never been so high.

The mindset is rapidly changing in France

Consumers were asked: Do you agree with the following statement?

I’m ready to pay more for products and services from companies who are committed to a social and environmental policy.

The result:

diagram 1

Whereas only one-third of the French population wanted to pay more to buy a product or service coming from a company with an active CSR policy, this figure should soon go over the 50%. France is still a little less sensitive to this subject than other European countries but it is quickly catching them up.

Sales of organic products, a sure sign of change  

Number of shops selling organic products:


Organic products in hyper and supermarkets

Diagram 2

Who are the shoppers choosing their outlets in relation to Organic products?

5 Shopper Profiles:

  • Drive in fans: 9% of consumers are fans of drive ins and are prepared to pay for it
  • Discount addicts: 12% of consumers search above all for low prices and discounts
  • Searching for practicality: 12% of consumers do their shopping close to where they live
  • Fresh and Organic Focused: 31% of consumers search for quality fresh and/or organic products and are attentive to the origin of the fruit and vegetables.
  • HMSM First: 36% of consumers search for promotions and prefer the “everything under one roof” of a hypermarket or a supermarket.

In France, for 31% of the population, fresh foods and organic foods are the main factors in the choice in distribution network. For 10% of them, organic products come out on top. In reality, they are buyers who love eating, cooking and…shopping.

Source: Nielsen – HomeScan Panel View circuits: 9,207 households surveyed between 19/6/15-28/6/15.

Frequency of monthly visits to an ORGANIC shop

Diagram 3

What consumers are looking for…

  • They are ready to pay and travel for ORGANIC products
  • Very attentive to quality, freshness, healthy products but also the origin of fruit & vegetables, local products – more inclined to be medium to big consumers of fresh local products.Hyper and Supermarkets remain their preferred distribution networks for half of consumers.
  • Hyper and Supermarkets remain their preferred distribution networks for half of consumers.

Their profile

  • +50 years old without children
  • Living in Paris-Suburbs
  • With a revenue of €3,800.

Useful links:

Based on the Chaire Grande Consommation ESSEC February 2016 newsletter featuring Nielsen consumer survey results

Download the Newsletter in French

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