France: Consumer Profile

May 2023

The French population is sustained by an influx of immigrants, while businesses are becoming more diverse and inclusive. Consumer trends and consumption patterns sparked by the pandemic are still observed in 2022, and consumers are increasingly concerned about the environment and social equality. Inflation and economic inequalities are putting pressure on consumers, making them more conscious about their purchasing decisions.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key findings

Population is ageing

France is set to continue facing increasing challenges from an ageing population. The sheer growth of the population aged 65+, coupled with low birth rates, will challenge the social welfare system of the country. While immigration slightly mitigates the pressure on the working population to support an increasing base of pensioners, the welfare system remains under pressure and overall purchasing power is constrained.

Rise of singletons

Delayed marriages, divorce and society’s changing values and social norms are boosting numbers of single households. Moreover, increasingly more families are choosing to not have children, leading to smaller households, with higher disposable income. Increasing share of childless families create an increasing demand for more tailored products and experiences, ready-to-go pre-packed food, while decreasing demand for family-sized packaged goods.

Shrinking middle class

With the cost-of-living crisis, soaring inflation and rising interest rates, the French middle class is shrinking, unable to maintain its previously-held standard of living. While inflationary pressures persist and growth in real wages fail to meet rising costs of living, the disposable income of French households is set to shrink over the short to medium term, negatively affecting low-income and middle class families the most.

Millennials and early Gen Z to become the highest income earners by 2040

By 2040, the 40-54 age group (Millennials and early Gen Z) is projected to become the highest-earning demographic. Education, skills and asset accumulation will be key factors, influencing their income levels. Inheritance will also play a significant role, particularly as they enter middle age. Consequently, middle-aged individuals will hold substantial discretionary purchasing power.

Millennials and early Gen Z to become the highest income earners by 2040

Key drivers affecting consumers in France in 2022
How developments today shape the consumer of tomorrow
Key findings
Today 2022: Baby Boomers are getting too large to ignore
Today: Ageing population pressures social system, weighing on consumer finances
Baby Boomers are not interested in online brand engagement, yet value trusted companies
Tomorrow 2040: Millennials will become the largest population cohort
Tomorrow : Millennials the largest cohort in 2040, Gen Z will become key influencers
Tomorrow : Despite declining population, Paris will remain the most attractive French city
Areas of opportunity
Case study: Silver Normandie facilitating innovation in the silver economy
Today 2022: Child-free and single households are becoming increasingly more popular
Today 2022: Child-free and single households are becoming increasingly more popular
Despite contracting household size, the French seek more spacious homes
Energy efficiency is a top priority for home features, especially for Baby Boomers
Tomorrow 2040: Childless families and single households to dominate French market
Majority of French households will remain headed by elder males
Digitalisation to continue witnessing robust developments, boosting digital consumption
Areas of opportunity
Case study: Carrefour simplifies grocery shopping with voice command
Today 2022: Shrinking middle class and slower gross income gains
Cost-of-living crisis pressures French middle class
Younger generations to demonstrate higher intentions to increase their future spending
Tomorrow 2040: Elder generations to witness fastest gross income growth
Tomorrow 2040: Late-Lifers to continue dominating top income band, shaping luxury market
Tomorrow 2040: Paris leads French consumer market, despite recent slip in buying power
Areas of opportunity
Case study : L’O ré al’s YSL Scent- sation using tech to encourage in-store engagement
Key findings consumer survey
Younger generations are more positive about their future, yet expect to work more
French feel rather satisfied with their financial situation, yet rising inflation poses concerns
Environmental issues are worrisome for over half of French consumers
While work-life balance matters, salary remains the top work priority for French
While continuing to look for bargains, the French increasingly value quality over quantity
Case study: Henkel’s Le Chat launches next-generation “Power Bars”
Areas of opportunity
Key findings


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