With the slowdown in economic growth in 2018 attributed to higher household taxes (fuel, tobacco and social security taxes), consumption in cafés/bars recorded another year of decline, despite the general enthusiasm provoked by the soccer World Cup in summer 2018. In addition, the competitive pressure from limited-service restaurants, convenience stores and traditional grocery retailers increased, especially as these players adopted diversification strategies to capture foodservice customers.
Traditionally highly fragmented, cafés/bars is seeing structural changes, with the growing success of chained players at the cost of independents, which are often perceived as old-fashioned. As alcohol consumption is falling because of growing health concerns and campaigns focusing on prevention, consumers’ requirements changed.
Nevertheless, despite notable successes, cafés/bars has been severely hit by a structural drop in the number of outlets in rural and suburban areas. More than just being an economic activity, cafés/bars were a social link for some less populous areas.
Specialist coffee and tea shops is represented by international chained players such as Starbucks, Segafredo, Illy and McCafé, but also by domestic players such as Columbus Café and French Coffee Shop. The competition strengthened during the review period, even though the category remained dominated by two players – Starbucks Coffee France and Columbus Développement, which are continuously expanding in France.
Whilst bars/pubs faced economic difficulties, chained players experienced dynamic current value growth in the review period, which continued in 2018. Groupe Bertrand CHR through its brand Au Bureau is the leading player in bars/pubs in France, with a concept inspired by London pubs.
In order to support their development, chained specialist coffee and tea shops and bars/pubs are engaged in a race towards digitalisation. In this regard, the international player Starbucks Coffee France has a competitive advantage, as it provided the “mobile order & pay” service in France in 2017, four years after introducing it in the US.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Foodservice market research database.