Mintel: coronavirus spurred French consumer toward local and functional foods

25 May 2020

After two months of strict confinement in France, market insights firm Mintel discovered that French consumer preferences have shifted to favor both local products and functional foods in a more pronounced manner than before the government enacted quarantine measures.

Prior to the pandemic sweeping through the country, Mintel found that 39% of consumers already placed strong import on supporting local agriculture production and farmers. However, the market study showed that during the lockdown 27% more French residents did their shopping at local retailers.

Mintel: coronavirus spurred French consumer toward local and functional foods

This transition to favoring local farmers with their pocketbooks is noteworthy. In 2019, a report from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agriculture Service noted that local markets and neighborhood shops comprised only 25% of the country’s retail food market. However, the report noted that the largest of the French retailers were already investing in smaller stores in city centers as French consumers were steadily diversifying their purchases and introducing more locally-sourced products.

In an analysis report by Kantar from earlier this year, the insights company noted that organic, local and ‘Made in France’ labels have become major drivers for companies looking to grab the attention of French consumers.

The pandemic catalyzed this transition toward local products, with Caroline Roux, a Global Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel telling Food Navigator that this transition will also serve to support the national economy by keeping French Euros funding local agricultural enterprises.

The Mintel market report also noted that French consumers are showing a growing interest in functional food and drinks, despite regulatory barriers barring the use of functional claims related to the immune system on packaging. Just over a third (34%) of the French consume these foods that are identified as being beneficial for the immune system, with the demographic between the ages of 45 and 54 showing a particular fondness for these functional products.

Similar to Mintel, the USDA noted the purchase of functional foods is fueled by the country’s aging population and increased health consciousness of consumers.

Despite Mintel reporting that less than 1% of French food and beverage launches having a functional claim tied to the immune system in the past two years, there is a clear interest from French consumers to support their health from the inside.

While these findings by Mintel are based on two months of data, they are an amplification of trends that were building during the past several years. As a result, it is likely that this consumer interest in local foods and functional products will continue to remain a strong trend in the market for the foreseeable future.

Related news

Monterey Mushrooms gets EU approval for vitamin D-rich mushroom powder

Monterey Mushrooms gets EU approval for vitamin D-rich mushroom powder

16 Jun 2022

Monterey Mushrooms’ vitamin D-rich mushroom powder, produced using ultraviolet (UV) to boost the nutrient content, can be sold in the EU, following novel food approval from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Read more 
Demand for tapioca syrup as a sweetener surges

Demand for tapioca syrup as a sweetener surges

1 Jun 2022

Seen as a better-for-you, natural sweetener, tapioca syrup is growing in demand, particularly among consumers in Asia and North America.

Read more 
Nestlé launches fortified dairy drink in Pakistan to tackle micronutrient deficiencies

Nestlé launches fortified dairy drink in Pakistan to tackle micronutrient deficiencies

16 May 2022

Nestlé is targeting micronutrient deficiencies with Bunyard Iron+, a fortified dairy-based drink that provides a source of iron that it says is “three times more absorbed in the body when compared to existing available sources."

Read more 
Tea flavour innovation in China unites tradition with modernity

Tea flavour innovation in China unites tradition with modernity

13 Apr 2022

Chinese tea brands are innovating with new flavours, blends and formats, and even making a foray into food with tea-flavoured food and drink launches.

Read more 
China leads the global boom for probiotics

China leads the global boom for probiotics

30 Mar 2022

Probiotics are experiencing a boom in global demand - particularly in China - as consumers look for functional ingredients in food and drink products that can improve their health. 

Read more 
A new brew: Ayurvedic coffee in India, adaptogenic coffee from Finland

A new brew: Ayurvedic coffee in India, adaptogenic coffee from Finland

10 Mar 2022

Coffee is probably one of the world’s most popular functional beverages, providing millions with their daily caffeine hit. However, some brands are taking its functional benefits further by adding in botanicals, vitamins, and other nutrients.

Read more 
Plant proteins' next evolution: Lupin beans

Plant proteins' next evolution: Lupin beans

7 Mar 2022

Delivering on taste, texture and health benefits, lupin beans are emerging as a viable contender in the race to dominate the plant-based protein industry. We look at some innovative startups using this ingredient.

Read more 
Enhanced ingredients: Using biotech to create highly functional food

Enhanced ingredients: Using biotech to create highly functional food

4 Mar 2022

Through acquisitions, investments and internal R&D, ingredient companies are harnessing biotechnology to create healthier ingredients and more functional additives.

Read more 
Butter is Better: Keto is driving resurgence as a premium product

Butter is Better: Keto is driving resurgence as a premium product

11 Feb 2022

After years of being shunned as an ingredient, fat is back thanks in large part to the popularity of the keto diet. The market for keto products is growing steadily with the global value of this category forecast to reach $15.6 billion by 2027, accordi...

Read more 
‘Humanisation’ of pets creates opportunities in pet food

‘Humanisation’ of pets creates opportunities in pet food

9 Feb 2022

Clean label, natural, sustainable, luxury and plant-based: The ‘humanisation’ of pets means consumers want premium pet food, and a number of food manufacturers are entering the growing pet food sector to meet their demands.

Read more