Retail in turmoil
French consumers buy less food but better quality food. Supermarkets and hypermarkets are feeling the brunt of this effect that is redefining short food circuits.
Ecological stakes, food health scandals and new eating trends have brought about a real change in consumption models. Supermarkets are the first to feel the effects in this respect. Carrefour, one of the major players in retail in France and Europe, saw a drop of 0.5 point in food purchases in 2017 according to LSA. Beginning of 2018, Auchan and Cora also saw a drop in their market shares for food. The hypermarket concept where one can find ‘everything under the same roof” is no longer attractive to consumers who are turning toward new distribution circuits.
Although they have been around for a long time, short circuits (local producers, hives, farm and markets) are becoming increasingly popular. In 2016, 70% of French consumers reported that they preferred these circuits that represent between 10 and 15 % of food purchases according to PIPAME (French Inter-Ministry pole for prospective and anticipation of economic change). In order to adapt to this new situation, supermarkets engage in new initiatives to develop local partnerships (‘Le Meilleur d’ici’ for Casino, ‘Producteurs locaux’ for Carrefour or ‘Made in pas très loin’ for Monoprix), however their procurement from short circuits represents no more than 5% of their purchases.