French export specialists predict healthy 2017 for British brands

Export experts at Sutralis in France have categorised the major trends for British food and drink brands that wish to enter the French market in 2017.

According to research the moment of self indulgence is a leading reason for purchasing a new food product for 77% of French consumers. As consumers become more health conscious, many are choosing to splurge from time to time rewarding their good eating habits.

Taste remains the principal criteria when it comes to product selection for 77% of French consumers. Flavour appeal will continue to be the driving force behind a product’s success or failure in 2017, which means that in store sampling is important for new product launches in France.
The four major food trends for 2017 include:

  • Return to the land: this relates to the development of more artisanal products, where provenance is imperative and communications on pack will share the producer’s own story. There is a growing desire for reassurance for shoppers regarding the origin of products
  • Eat better: this trend encompasses much more than healthy eating, although that will remain an intrinsic element for innovation and successful product launches in France next year. This trend also refers to consumers’ interest in what they’re eating. 79% of French people are convinced that food has a direct impact on their health. And as people become more aware about the relationship between what they eat and their health and wellbeing, the free from sector will continue to grow. Free-from gluten, wheat and dairy foods are slowly moving away from being relegated to those with intolerances and are fast becoming the selected choice of many. This trend is set to continue in 2017 as consumers become more aware of their own bodies and food manufacturers adapt to meet demand
  • Waste not, want not: French consumers are increasingly feeling ethical responsibility and there are many opportunities to give shoppers environmentally friendly products; from the packaging materials used to the sourcing of the ingredients. There are calls for a reduction in food waste, so portioning is important and in packaging waste
  • Authentic, regional and exotic flavours: including watermelon juice and birch tree water, unique drinks will surge in popularity as French consumers seek to quench their thirst with new flavours. Other innovative products expected to hit the market in 2017 include yogurts flavoured with a combination of fruits and vegetables, more veggie packed cakes and desserts and vegetable based drinks. Vegetarian and flexi-vegetarian (only eating meat occasionally) diets are growing among French consumers

Director and founder of Sutralis, Philippe Demarest, says, “2016 has been a fast paced year with rafts of new products launching very successfully in France. The interest in products imported from around the world, particularly British brands, continues to rise. We regularly communicate with the retail buyers and decision makers, and are acutely aware of what they are looking for and their hopes for what will be ‘the next big thing’. In store sampling, consumer trials, focus groups and excellent research are all required to improve a new product’s chance of success.”

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