Key Point of 2023 consumption in France

NielsenIQ is analysing the new purchasing behaviour of consumers in 2023, which will be affected by inflation. Between arbitration, adaptation and "consume less to consume better", the French are encouraging retailers to adapt in order to capture their purchasing intentions.  

Price is the No. 1 concern 
45% of French people are worried about sustained inflation. 9 out of 10 are careful with their spending. 15% of the population said in the first quarter of 2023 that they had skipped a meal because of inflation. 

+ Spending up by 600 euros in two years
In two years, the average annual expenditure of a household (FMCG products) has risen by more than 600 euros.

Trade-offs between categories
To cope with inflation, 33% of French people said they were limiting their spending on food and other essentials (+15 points over the last 12 months). 26% have limited their spending on hygiene/beauty products (+12 points). The search for the best prices, special offers and limiting purchases of meat and fish are some of the ways in which the French are looking to make savings. 

A different approach to shopping
Smaller baskets, day-to-day food shopping rather than weekly shopping trolleys. 16% of French people say they do more shopping around their home to limit the use of their car.

Strong preference for private labels
The French are increasingly turning to private labels (+1.1 pt vs N-1), discount shops (+0.1 pt vs N-1) and special offers (+0.2 pt vs N-1). Retailers with a strong price image are outperforming in this inflationary environment, and are broadening their customer base.

The "consume better" trend is gathering pace
Over the last 4 years, 54% of French people have declared that they consume better and less. Sustainable consumption is no longer a fad, but an underlying trend that goes well beyond organic produce. The French are declaring their preference for local, environmentally-friendly packaging and offers. Some alternatives (sales estimated at €17.7 billion, or 14.1% of FLS FMCG sales) are more important than others for French consumers: pesticide-free (24.3%), free-range (17.6%) and preservative-free (13.8%) products are the Top 3 alternative products preferred by the French. 

Hygiene and beauty also concerned
The natural approach is also appealing in the hygiene/beauty department. 73% of French people have bought a "natural" product in this department in the last 12 months. It's also worth noting that 45% of French people say they are increasingly reducing the number of hygiene/beauty products they use.

Meat consumption on the decline
Another trend is that the French are eating less meat. In fact, 8.9 million households do not eat meat at all. This change in lifestyle is clear to see, as meat sales and the frequency of meat purchases have been falling steadily since 2019. The inflationary crisis has accelerated certain trends, notably the reduction in consumption of meat products. Beef is less popular on the plates of the French, who are replacing it with other sources of protein (eggs, white meat, tinned fish, vegetables).

The Nutri-score influences purchases
Better eating is also reflected in the growing interest shown by the French in the Nutri-score. 33% even say that it influences their purchases. 

The success of product innovations
Every minute, 60 shopping basket containing a Top Innovation sweet grocery product pass through the checkout. Another interesting figure is that 60% of impulse purchases are made in-store. 

An increase in the number of senior citizens and specific expectations
The ageing of the population is a reality, with 26% of the population over 65 in France by 2040, i.e. 1.4 million extra senior citizens, compared with 21% today. This means that hypermarkets in particular will have to adapt to the expectations and needs of senior citizens. The quality of fresh produce is the most important criterion for 38% of senior citizens in France. Suitable texture, ease of eating (softness) and visible benefits are among the expectations of senior citizens when they buy convenience products. 88% of them say they pay attention to what is stated on the composition of products, compared with 83% of the French average.

Single households on the rise, reaching 40% by 2030
According to INSEE, the size of French households will continue to fall as the population ages and living arrangements change. NielsenIQ predicts that 40% of households will be single households by 2030. It will therefore be more difficult to capture the spending of tomorrow's buyers. Single households are moving towards reasoned and reasonable purchases: smaller baskets, quantities that reflect their consumption as closely as possible, and smaller formats.  

Source: NIELSENQ, https://www.republik-retail.fr/strategie-retail/enseignes/pratiques/les-points-cles-de-la-consommation-en-2023.html#:~:text=La%20tendance%20du%20«%20consommer%20mieux,offres%20qui%20respectent%20l'environnement.

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