Although total volume sales of declined over the course of 2020 due to the pressures on demand created by the COVID-19 pandemic, retail volume sales increased over the course of the year. This was due primarily to the unavailability of bars, cafés and restaurants during the quarantine lockdowns that were imposed in France during the year, as well as the generally strict approach to social distancing that was adopted among the country’s population.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the categories of coffee that fared the best during 2020 were also those which were already performing well prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic: namely, fresh coffee beans and fresh ground coffee pods. The success of fresh coffee beans has been based on the higher numbers of consumers that have been developing more sophisticated tastes in coffee, which has led them to want to reproduce the specialist coffee shop experience at home.
The three leading names in coffee Lavazza, Douwe Egberts and Nestlé all performed well during 2020 despite the severe commercial pressures created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to their more sophisticated supply chains, these big companies were better equipped to handle the significant pressure came on the supply of their products amidst panic buying and stockpiling during the early stages of the pandemic.
Although 2020 was nothing short of a catastrophic year for France’s consumer foodservice industry, a strong recovery is expected to be seen in foodservice sales of coffee during the 2021. The main reasons for the disastrous performance of on-trade sales of coffee during 2020 were the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the quarantine lockdowns, social distancing measures, the drastic reduction of inbound tourism flows and widespread financial hardship due to the adverse economic environment that has emerged from the pandemic situation.
One of the major trends in coffee in France before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was the shift towards sustainable, organic and fair trade brands. This trend was in fact supported by the COVID-19 pandemic, as the lockdown period gave many French people the opportunity to reflect on their lifestyles and adopt more ethical consumption habits, especially those which can be seen as potentially beneficial to the environment.
Another major trend to have emerged from the COVID-19 situation in France is the strong shift towards e-commerce that was seen over the course of 2020. In particular, click-and-collect has risen to prominence as a highly convenient way to shop, especially for groceries.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Coffee industry in France with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Coffee research and analysis database.
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