Summary of our market study

The French market for nutraceuticals is estimated at between €20 and €30 billion.

A contraction of the terms "food" and "medicine", "alicament" is a marketing concept that globally designates food products that claim health benefits. Nutraceuticals and dietary foods are also often referred to as alicaments.

The global nutraceuticals market, valued at over $200 billion, is undergoing changes marked by consumer skepticism and regulatory measures to ensure the veracity of health claims. Growth prospects remain positive, with annual market growth of 3.14% between 2021 and 2025.

The Asia-Pacific region is expected to be the future growth driver, with the market set to rise from 391 billion euros in 2020 to 573 billion in 2030.

Consumer trends point to a demand for products designed to improve the health, cognitive functions and well-being of an ageing population. Probiotics are growing fast, and FoodTech innovations are driving the sector forward.

Regulatory oversight in Europe, with over 85% of negative EFSA opinions on health claims, is shaping the market, demanding clear, scientifically-based communications from companies.

The French nutraceuticals market: a blend of nutritional needs and medical benefits

The French market for nutraceuticals and dietary foods, often referred to as nutraceuticals, has experienced a complex dynamic of growth and stagnation.

The French health food market, which has long grown at a rate of 9-10% a year, is experiencing a slowdown, mainly due to increased scrutiny of exaggerated claims of health benefits. Nevertheless, the industry remains significant, and it is estimated that it will have reached a market size of between 10 and 20 billion euros by 2022.

This segment could see a revival due to an aging population, the rise of chronic health problems such as obesity, the quest for wellness and technological advances in FoodTech.

Projections indicate that by 2050, more than a quarter of the French population will be over 65, and one in ten people will be over 90.

Almost half the French population is overweight or obese.

92% of French citizens rank healthcare among their top priorities when it comes to political choices.

Certain market niches, such as probiotics, have seen impressive growth. The probiotics market has exceeded 100 million euros in France. In addition to probiotics, segments concerning stress relief, sleep enhancement and cognitive functions (nootropics) continue to attract consumer interest.

Nutraceutical market players

  • Danone: Probiotic-rich products such as Actimel and Activia.

  • Nestlé has entered the nutraceuticals market. The acquisition of Novartis' medical nutrition division catapulted Nestlé into a leading position.

  • Lesieur: By enriching its Isio Mémo oil with DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid essential for brain health, Lesieur has succeeded in establishing itself as a forerunner in the cognitive well-being niche.

  • Lactalis has broadened its horizons by taking an interest in sports nutrition, a segment that is recording remarkable growth.

  • St Hubert: With products such as margarine enriched with omega-3, St Hubert has found its niche in the fight against cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.

  • Innocent: Known for its juices and smoothies that combine health benefits with the convenience and appeal of a ready-to-drink format.

  • Orangina Schweppes France stands out for its decision to buck the trend.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Introduction

An alicament (or "medicaliment", or "nutraceutical") is a food with pharmaceutical properties. It may be a natural food containing active molecules, or an artificially enriched industrial food. This designation can be detrimental to the nutraceutical trade, as it raises a number of ethical and commercial issues. the current market segmentation distinguishes between industrial foods (such as Omega-3 enriched foods, foods rich in active Bifidus, etc.) and natural foods (such as herbal or phytotherapeutic products).

The health food market seems to be marking time after a rather flourishing 1990-2000 period. This is due to marketing abuses extolling the virtues of products with health benefits far in excess of their actual effects on the body, prompting consumers to speak of a veritable "scam". In the United States, Danone was fined tens of millions of dollars following a complaint from consumers who doubted the benefits ofActimel. European regulations ensure that advertising deemed to be misleading is eradicated.

All the companies present in this market are heavyweights in the food industry. Competition is therefore extreme in a global health food market worth over $200 billion.

The problem for the sector is to justify the price difference to consumers (Bifidus yoghurt costs twice as much as conventional yoghurt). The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), which is responsible for examining claims, has examined 1,750 of the 4,200 submitted, with 85% of negative opinions to date.

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Sales growth forecast for the food sector
  • Sales forecast for the nutraceuticals market
  • High estimate of growth in the health food market
  • Nearly one French person in two is overweight or obese
  • Share of population by age bracket
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Latest news

Danone opens a second plant for plant-based products in France - 12/02/2024
  • Danone inaugurates a new plant dedicated to the manufacture of dairy alternatives in France
  • Danone has completely converted its Villecomtal-sur-Arros yogurt plant in the Gers department into a unit dedicated to Alpro-brand plant-based beverages. 43 million euros of investment
  • Production, mainly of oat juice cartons, is 90% destined for Europe.
  • Danone now has four milk-alternative production units in Europe. Two in France, at Issenheim and Villecomtal in the Gers region, one in Sweden, at Lunnarp, and the fourth at Wevelgem in Belgium.
  • Vegetable-based products have become "a strategic focus" for the world's number one in ultra-fresh products.
  • Danone took the t turn in 2017 with the $12.5 billion acquisition of US group WhiteWave.
  • In France, ultra-fresh products are deeply rooted in diets.
  • Plant milk accounts for just 4% of the traditional dairy products market by volume and 7.4% by value.
  • The plant-based milk market is worth 165 million euros, according to FranceAgriMer.
  • More than 6 out of ten people in France in the 18-24 age bracket eat plant-based products several times a week, according to lDanone
  • Many dairy groups, including Triballat, Nestlé and Bel, have chosen to develop plant-based ranges.
  • Retail chains are present under their own brands (MDD).
Nestlé sells its Natur baby food products to FNB - 06/02/2024
  • nestlé is the world's leading food company.
  • FNB is a French investment fund specialized in SMEs in the food sector.
  • Nestlé is in exclusive negotiations with FNB for the sale of its baby food business in France.
  • The products concerned are NaturNes baby foods, Babicao and Babivanille baby powders and the P'tit yogurt range.
  • These products are manufactured at the Arches plant.
  • Worldwide sales of Nestlé infant formulas have increased by more than 10%.
Nestlé France sells its baby food products to Mousline - 02/02/2024
  • Nestlé is negotiating exclusively with the French investment fund FnB the sale of its baby food business.
  • These include the ranges of soups, purees, desserts and breakfast powders under the NaturNes, Babicao and Babivanille brands, as well as the P'tit franchise.
  • Infant milks, the bulk of the portfolio - with Laboratoires Guigoz and Nestlé Nidal - remain in the Nestlé France fold.
  • The infant nutrition products that are the subject of this sale are produced in a factory in the Vosges region of France that employs 230 people.
  • FnB, the potential buyer, specializes in supporting French SMEs in the food industry.
  • The baby food market fell by 6% in volume last year in France due to the falling birth rate, with a sharper decline in milks than in diversification foods.
  • Nestlé has 14 factories in France.
Danone sells its US organic dairy business to Platinum Equity - 02/01/2024
  • Danone has signed an agreement to sell its US organic dairy business to Platinum Equity.
  • The sale concerns the Horizon Organic and Wallaby businesses.
  • By 2022, Horizon Organic and Wallaby represented around 3% of Danone's total sales.
Danone finds buyers for its two organic brands in the United States - 02/01/2024
  • Platinum Equity's portfolio of assets totals $47 billion.
  • The two brands Horizon Organic and Wallaby accounted for around 3% of Danone's sales in 2022, or $800 million.
  • Dairy products make up a large part of Danone's sales.
  • Danone has sold various parts of its business in different countries, including yoghurts in China and fresh dairy products in Brazil.
  • Danone recorded eight quarters of growth thanks to price increases, although volumes remained stable.
  • Danone succeeded in halting a steady decline in dairy sales that had lasted since 2015.
Danone, Antoine de Saint-Affrique's silent revolution - 26/09/2023
  • Investment of 50 million euros in medical nutrition plant in Opole, Poland.
  • Danone sales of 27.7 billion euros.
  • Sales growth from 2.5% to 3% on average per year (before Covid) to 7% to 8% by mid-2023.
  • Groupe Danone employs around 100,000 people.
  • Disposal of certain non-strategic activities (Vega, Horizon Organic and Wallaby in North America, Aqua d'Or waters in Denmark, etc.).

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Danone Groupe
Red Bull
Otsuka Pharmaceutical France
Nestlé Groupe
Abbott Groupe
Cooper Health Solutions
L'Herbier du Diois
Dômes Pharma Léro Laboratoire
Ortis Laboratoire

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