IGD reveals four key trends to watch in the French discounter market

While traditionally, France has not been known as a discount market for food and grocery, times are changing and an increased amount of investment into new discount store concepts is rapidly happening across the country.

Here, IGD’s head of discount and CEE Milos Ryba reveals four key trends that are shaping the grocery market in France – and where the discounters have scope to meet more shopper needs as they develop and evolve in a multichannel world.

“French supermarket retailers have fought hard against the discounters’ low prices to maintain market share. By having bigger ranges and moving into other channels such as convenience and online, they attract more shoppers as the way people are shopping evolves to become more multichannel. It is important for discount players and their suppliers to understand the current grocery trends in France to be able to adapt the offer better to the French shopper and their changing needs.”


With an increasing number of organic products appearing on the shelves in France, it is clearly a significant opportunity. While some discounters are addressing the growing organic trend in France, suppliers can play a more proactive role in helping them meet the food-to-go and reformulation trends which we have seen implemented successfully in other markets by discount retailers. Linking to wellbeing will be key to seeing the benefit.


Food-to-go is growing in France – and as we have seen in other markets, discounters are also tapping into this fast-growing opportunity. Innovations such as sushi bars or chilled boxes are areas already successfully adopted in other markets which could be well received in France. More and more retailers are launching their own food-to-go private ranges and at the risk of not meeting evolved shopper expectations, it is an opportunity manufacturers should not ignore in the discount sector.


As health and well-being becomes a more significant priority for shoppers, we can expect to see more discounters working to improve health credentials. Reformulation at discounters is also driven by private label, which means it is an opportunity for suppliers of private label products – but also a challenge for brands to remain competitive.


The online channel in France is growing – and as a result, retailers are focusing on winning by expanding through new and modern online and digital solutions. Online is a channel which leading discounters are exploring and looking for cost efficient online models and four of the six main discount players in France have smartphone apps. Considering this investment into technology, suppliers should think about how they can support this modern approach through their products, packaging and marketing plans.

“All of the French discount players have different priorities; therefore it is important for suppliers to understand how each of them operates and what is important to them to succeed. With this information, suppliers should adapt their strategies with each discounter accordingly rather than having a single channel approach,” Milos concludes.