Economic protectionism, a guarantee of quality, a growing supply … The French are more and more convinced by local purchasing.
Under house arrest for several months since March 2020, the French have turned to local consumption. According to a new study from IRI, an institute specializing in the analysis of data on consumer products, sales of local products increased by 6% between June 2020 and May 2021 while sales of all FMCG items rose only 2.3%.
Faced with the health and economic crisis, the French want to give priority to producers in their region or their country. “In times of crisis, we seek to protect our economy and defend our local ecosystem», Emphasizes Emily Mayer, Director of Business Insight (commercial perspectives) at Iri.
Local brands account for 1.8 billion euros in France, or a market share of 2.2% for all consumer products present in hypermarkets and supermarkets. This market share is likely to continue to grow as the French intend to buy more and more local references. According to the Iri study, 39% of consumers want to buy more local products while 26% want to buy more organic products. The Organic Agriculture label remains a differentiating purchasing element, but it is no longer sufficient for consumers. “We prefer to buy products from local producers rather than organic, especially if the organic product comes from abroad», Confirms Audrey, 35 years old and mother of two young daughters.
Retailers are mobilizing around local products
Local items also enjoy a reputation for quality. “These products are immediately perceived as being of quality without having to be organic or healthy.», Highlights Emily Mayer. Sales also increased due to the increased supply in stores. “Large-scale distribution is developing its offer of local products. There are more and more departments dedicated to it», Explains the Director of Business Insight at Iri.
A trend effectively followed by many supermarket chains who do not want to miss this mark in terms of demand. Monoprix aims in particular to offer local and even ultra-local products in 100% of its stores within a year. “For this, we have simplified the referencing process. Store managers can source local producers themselves and offer them on the shelves within 48 hours», Highlights Diane Coliche, Executive Director General of Monoprix. Beyond the choices made by the brands, certain product categories still do not have a local brand, such as hygiene or beauty items. The category “ creamery »Comprising yoghurts and butter comprises the most local articles, with 4.6% of the references.
Consumers place a lot of expectations on the behavior of retailers. According to a study carried out by Opinion Way for Apollo Plus, 39% of consumers expect greater collaboration from sites shopping with local producers. This expectation is found more strongly among men (41%) than among women (37%).
French people with high monthly incomes, earning more than 3,500 euros per month, are also more attentive (47%). While only 32% of those earning less than 2000 euros pay attention to it. Local products are in fact 10% to 15% more expensive than the average price, which can be a barrier to buying. “I am careful to buy local but I am aware that this is an approach mainly reserved for people who can afford it financially», Recognizes Capucine, Parisian of 26 years.