What’s Baking in France
by DAN MALOVANY
According to Euromonitor’s new report, “Packaged Foods in France,” sales of bakery products are expected to be less dynamic during the 2004-2009 forecast period than they were during the 1999-2004 period, suffering a loss of 1.5% in constant value terms, giving sales of approximately US $19 billion in 2009. Sales in volume terms are expected to follow a similar pattern to value sales, with prices stabilizing. This mainly will be due to the effects of agreements between a number of manufacturers and retailers to limit rises in price in order to boost consumption, which suffered as prices rose towards the end of the survey period.
Biscuits Will Be the Best
In contrast to the past five years, when the best performer in constant value terms was breakfast cereal, biscuits are expected to be the top performer during the next five years, Euromonitor notes. Sales of biscuits are expected to rise by nearly 10% in constant value terms.
Euromonitor’s research suggests that chocolate-coated biscuits will remain the most important growth generator, with an expected 39% increase in constant value terms during the forecast period. Chocolate will remain a key factor in the success of products, as it remains a favorite ingredient of the French, and there are also now fat-reduced products available (“better-for-you indulgence” products). Further innovation is expected to occur, accompanied by more trading up to premium variants.
Unless important innovations accompanied by substantial marketing investments occur — and this is not anticipated — sales of cookies are expected to fall 29% in constant value terms from 2004 to 2009. The accompanying drop in consumption likely will result from intensifying competition from other biscuit products as well as a lack of interest from consumers. To a lesser extent, but for very similar reasons, savory biscuits and crackers also are expected to suffer a decline in sales, as alcohol consumption continues to fall and aperitifs become less common, according to Euromonitor.
Biscuits are likely to be driven by plain variants, with products marketed for breakfast the most important here and the ones forecast to see the most growth. This anticipated shift in demand from cereals to biscuits is expected to play itself out through the forecast period, as plain biscuits see an increase of nearly 11% in constant value terms. Euromonitor expects that biscuits intended for breakfast consumption will cannibalize sales of breakfast cereals due to their practicality, as they are more suitable for consumption “on the go.”
Packaged Goods On the Rise
Although there is no chance of overtaking unpackaged baked goods in value terms, packaged baked goods are anticipated to show a greater dynamic than unpackaged products during the 2004-2009 period, according to Euromonitor. Unpackaged bread and cakes are predicted to suffer declines of roughly 10% and 7%, respectively, in constant value terms, as French consumers are increasingly likely to vary their consumption of bread types as well as reduce their overall consumption.
The artisan-produced baguette, however, will remain the product of choice for its quality to accompany meals. However, the move toward different breakfast options is likely to put the brakes on sales. Indeed, the traditional breakfast with bread, butter and jam is still important, although the use of packaged bread is becoming more common, as it offers more convenience and longer preservation.
Euromonitor’s research shows that consumers do not want to buy bread that goes stale quickly, which means they gradually will reduce their consumption of freshly baked bread to specific occasions. As an indirect result, packaged breads and cakes are expected to see real value growth of some 27% and 10%, respectively, during the 2004-2009 period.
The shift from pastries to other types of products, such as biscuits or packaged cakes, will continue over the forecast period, Euromonitor anticipates, with sales of pastries declining by 1% in constant value terms. Pastries sold through bakeries and made with ingredients rich in calories also are expected to see a slow in sales as a result of consumer concern about health issues, specifically obesity.
Breakfast Cereals Grow Slowly
Euromonitor expects breakfast cereal sales to be driven by healthier variants, mainly because of the constant high-profile publicity given to campaigns against the threat of obesity. As a result, children’s breakfast cereals are likely to see their performance suffer as parents become increasingly worried about the food they give to their children.
Parents likely will have children eat simpler or more natural products, such as muesli, flakes or even hot cereals. These three product types are expected to see growth of 12%, 39% and 18%, respectively, in constant value terms. This will be in sharp contrast to a 10% decline in sales of children’s breakfast cereals over the same period, forecasts Euromonitor.
“Packaged Foods in France” is a new report from Euromonitor International. Its analysis presents an accurate picture of trends and developments impacting the national industry. Euromonitor is the leading global consumer market analyst, with more than 30 years experience of publishing international market-research reports and producing award-winning online information systems. For more information on Euromonitor’s packaged foods reports, visit: www.euromonitor.com or call 312-922-1115.