Slow growth in French confectionery runs deeper than the economic crisis since consumers are simply more health-conscious than their European cousins, according to market research.
A report by market analysts Canadean found that sector growth in chocolate and sugar confectionery in France up until 2017 would be slow, but slightly more dynamic than the sluggish growth expected in the saturated gum category.
Beyond the crisis
Ronan Stafford, market analyst at Canadean, told ConfectioneryNews that this weak performance in France was the result of issues deeper than consumers simply making cut backs in a tough economic environment.
“[In] confectionery, French consumers are more health-conscious than their European cousins, particularly when it comes to children’s nutritional needs. This’ll hold back the confectionery market as parents keep a close eye on their children’s sugar consumption."
“If consumers are going to eat less, then they also may be prepared to spend more in order to ensure that they’re getting the best experience the few times they do eat.
"Confectionery is above-all an indulgent category, and chocolate and confectionery still remains a relatively cheap way to indulge.”
Stafford said that money-conscious consumers had been staying in more over the past 4-5 years, and that in France this could be set to continue since economic growth in the country remains relatively weak. However, he added that confectioners and snacks manufacturers were getting better at targeting these occasions with “share” bags.
“The French confectionery market has been struggling for a while: during 2007-2012 Confectionery was the third-slowest growing food sector out of the 15 we cover, and it’ll repeat this rank during 2012-2017."
In 2012 the value of the French confectionery market was $7.7bn, with volume at approximately 500,000 metric tons (MT).
In 2012 chocolate held the largest value share with 68.2%, followed by sugar confectionery with 17% and gum at 14.8%.
Candaean's report has forecast equal volume and value growth for chocolate and sugar confectionery up until 2017, each with a value Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 1.4% and a volume CAGR of 1.9%. Gum is expected to experience the lowest growth within the sector, with value and volume CAGRs of 0.3% and 0.9% respectively across the same time period.
In a separate Canadean report on the German confectionery market , gum was expected to reach the highest CAGRs for volume and value in the industry in the next five years, while sugar confectionery and chocolate lagged behind.