Thanks to more limited restrictions than in 2020 (ie “only” four months of quarantine in 2021 compared to seven months in the previous year), as well as the impressive progression of the country’s vaccination programme and an opening of the country’s borders, sales in vending machines began to recover in 2021. However, the rebound was not strong enough to offset the huge losses incurred during 2020 when sales dropped by over one-third on 2019 with this proportion much higher in vending in captive locations.
The situation experienced by Selecta France, the leading player in vending, exemplifies the turmoil of the category in which almost half of its local sales were lost in 2020 with 2021 only experiencing weak recovery. The acquisition of rival player Pelican Rouge in 2016 and the very important contract that the company has had in place with the French national railway operator SNCF until at least 2025 as well as various new technologies in an effort to consolidate its leading position were promising, until the pandemic struck.
Products or formats with potential in vending remained rare in 2021. Regarding the products on offer, Red Bull did not despair of the opportunity of challenging the near total domination of Coca-Cola in proximity outlets for sales of soft drinks, including convenience stores, forecourt retailers and vending machines.
Until the end of 2020, vending was expected to recover from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic during 2021-2022 as the positive impact of the French government’s vaccination programme began to take hold. The far higher numbers of people congregating in public and semi-public spaces was set to result in a dramatic increase being seen in demand for vending as was the return of international air travel and long-distance train travel that was predicted to lead to a significant increase in demand for vending machines located in transport interchanges, railway stations, motorway service areas and airport terminals.
In addition to all the changes and challenges around the unprecedented circumstances created by the global pandemic, vending players have had to deal with the recent Government’s legislation of ecological transition. This started from mid-2021 with the withdrawal of all plastic cups theoretically.
While the hybrid category of pizza vending machines is expected to further spread in France, other new types of automated stores and foodservice outlets are likely to indirectly compete with vending food and drinks. The new generation of automated/self-service grocery retailer outlets has the potential to undermine the ability of vending to capture the imagination of the French population.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Vending industry in France with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
Key trends are clearly and succinctly summarised alongside the most current research data available. Understand and assess competitive threats and plan corporate strategy with our qualitative analysis, insight and confident growth projections.
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Vending means automatic retailing. It covers the sale of products and services at an unattended point of sale through a machine operated by introducing coins, bank notes, payment cards, tokens or other means of cashless payment. Sales figures cover vended products only, ie food, drink and other consumable goods such as vended tobacco, sanitary products and condoms. Services such as the public telephone, laundrette facilities, travel tickets, stamps, passport photographs, domestic energy supplies and business card creation are excluded. Coverage includes vending systems installed in public and semi-captive environments only. Hotels, transport networks, recreational centres, shopping centres/malls are included. Factories, offices, hospitals, prisons, schools and other captive environments are excluded.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Vending research and analysis database.
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