Summary of our market study

The global market for aperitif cookies, particularly favored in France, demonstrates significant growth. The market, valued at 17 billion euros in 2020 in Europe, is largely dominated by private labels, holding 39.9% of market share as of 2022, followed by international giants such as PepsiCo with 17%. 

Organic aperitif cakes alone accounted for 35 million euros by P2 2020, marking a 40% increase from the previous year. Despite this, traditional staples like salted seeds remain dominant, accounting for 1,000 million euros in sales in 2022. Inflation has affected prices, particularly in healthier product variants, with producer prices for aperitif cookies rising about 28%. France's trade balance remains positive in this sector, primarily exporting to and importing from Belgium, reflecting the intertwined nature of production with major industry players.

The Flourishing French Market for Aperitif Snacks: Trends and Consumer Preferences

In France, the aperitif, a customary pre-meal gathering featuring snacks and drinks, has evolved into an occasion that sometimes replaces dinner. This cultural transformation has significantly impacted the market for aperitif snacks, particularly cookies that are a staple at these social gatherings. The French aperitif cakes market is marked by an annual consumption rate of roughly between 3 and 4 kilograms per person, underscoring a strong potential for growth especially when compared to the European average of around 4 kilograms and notably higher figures in the UK and the Netherlands.

This burgeoning demand is largely driven by the French's growing fondness for tuiles and extruded biscuits. France, while enjoying a stable aperitif tradition, still holds room for market expansion as it represents only about 13% of the European market's value. French consumers demonstrate a strong preference for aperitif moments, with men partaking more often than women, and individuals over 65 and the 35-49 age bracket indulging in these snacks most frequently. A notable 70% of men enjoy aperitifs more than once a month compared to 64% of women, and the popularity of aperitif sessions peaks during the summer and festive seasons.

The French market is seeing an increased lean towards healthier and environmentally-friendly snack options. Consumers are progressively looking for organic and low-calorie products, with around one-third of the population consuming organic food at least once a week. The demand for healthier options has spawned a new wave of products, including reduced salt and fat offerings, which promotes a significant challenge for manufacturers to balance taste with nutritional value.

Despite the stronghold of private label products and prominent groups like PepsiCo, Mondelez, Kellogg's, and Intersnack, the sector remains open to innovation. New entrants, leveraging health and environmental concerns, have introduced products with a reduced ecological footprint and better health profiles. The competition within the aperitif snack sector is dynamic, yet challenging, as producers strive to meet evolving consumer expectations while maintaining palatability. In analyzing this robust market, one may underline the increase in production costs attributable to raw materials, which have led to price hikes for snack cakes. Notably, the healthy, organic, and gluten-free variants are growing steadily.

Prominent Players Steering the Aperitif Cookies Market Landscape

The aperitif cookie market teems with a mix of big international names and dynamic newcomers, all vying for a piece of the ever-growing consumer appetite for these sociable snacks. As we delve into the savory narratives of these market stalwarts, we recognize a blend of deep-rooted tradition and bold innovation.

  • PepsiCo : As one of the leading giants in the snack industry, PepsiCo's reach is extensive, cutting across numerous market segments including aperitif cookies where their powerhouse brands like Lay's and Doritos enjoy vast popularity. Their strategic move in recent years to repatriate production to France underscores an eco-conscious shift, aiming to reduce transportation impact and cater directly to local tastes.

  • Mondelez International : Another heavyweight in the snack ring, Mondelez, brings to the table beloved brands such as Belin and TUC, which have become synonymous with the aperitif moment. Mondelez boasts production facilities within France, indicating a commitment to locale-specific manufacturing and the prowess to innovate and adapt to the changing tides of consumer demand.

  • Kellogg's and Intersnack : These companies, though not as pronounced in the aperitif niche as PepsiCo and Mondelez, still command considerable market share with an array of products that cater to a range of tastes and preferences. With Intersnack pushing the boundaries of the norm with interesting flavors and textures through its Vico brand, it demonstrates a keen attunement to the pulse of the market.

  • Europe Snacks : Ascending to the role of silent behemoth, Europe Snacks is the force behind a multitude of private-label products that adorn supermarket shelves. Their presence is pivotal to the private labels' stronghold on the market, outlining the influence that a dedicated producer can have in driving private-label success.

  • Too Good : As a beacon of healthy snacking, Too Good has stormed the scene with their low-sugar, low-fat product lines, including innovative "popping" techniques for their crisp production. They are clear evidence of how a newcomer can disrupt traditional models with a sharp focus on health-conscious offerings and shrewd marketing strategies.

  • Organic and Health-forward Brands : A slew of organic-focused brands such as Bjorg, Léa Nature, and the sprouting Payzan illustrate the market's swing towards health and sustainability. These brands leverage their organic, gluten-free, and locally-sourced credentials to carve a niche.
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  • Last update : 11/11/2023
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

The aperitif was originally a snack consisting of both drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) and cookies (sweet or savoury), which preceded the meal. It represents a real moment of conviviality for those who share it, and has gradually evolved to replace dinner. In fact, aperitif dinners are becoming increasingly popular with the French.

Aperitif cookies are the dry savoury products consumed at these events. The market is divided into four main food categories: salted seeds, tiles and extruded products, potato chips and crackers.

The global market for snack cakes is growing, and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 4.9% between 2021 and 2029. The main consumers of these products are developed countries, notably the United States and the United Kingdom. Countries such as China and India account for only a small proportion of consumers.

In France, aperitifs are extremely popular, with 66% of French people enjoying them at least once a month. Sales of aperitif cookies are expected to grow by 2.3% between 2021 and 2022, driven in particular by the popularity of tuiles and extruded biscuits. The potential for development is great, as the French consume only 3.5 kg of these products per year, compared with 4 kg for the European average. This is almost half the figure for the UK and the Netherlands.

The aperitif cake market is divided between private labels and major international groups. Mass-market brands account for almost half of sales, while PepsiCo, Mondelez, Kellogg's and Intersnack share almost all the rest of the market.

The savoury aperitif market is booming, driven by innovation. New products focus on health, the environment and gluten-free products. Although dominated by the snacking giants, the aperitif sector remains sensitive to innovation, which encourages the arrival of new entrants. To sustain growth, players are focusing on innovation. The main challenge remains the difficult balance between taste and nutritional value, in the face of growing consumer expectations in terms of naturalness.

1.2 A growing global market

Size of the global "Savory Snacks" market World, ****-**** (***), in billions of dollars Grandviewresearch

The main consumer countries of aperitif products are the United States and the United Kingdom (***). Developing countries still lag far behind the developed world in this market. India consumed *.* kg and China * kg per person in ****. [***]

However, ...

1.3 The French market for aperitif cakes

Aperitif cookie sales France, ****-****, in billions of euros Source: ****

The French consume an average of *.* kg of aperitif products per capita, and spend around €** in the savory aisle, which they visit ** times a year. there's still potential for growth," notes Sophie Van Eeckhaute, "since per capita consumption is * kg in ...

1.4 A trade deficit

The codes used are: ******; ******; ******.

French trade balance for aperitif cookies France, ****-****, in millions of dollars and in % UN Comtrade

France is a net exporter of aperitif cookies, and its coverage rate is tending to increase: + ** points from **** to ****.

Belgium is by far the leading destination for French aperitif cookie exports ...

1.5 The impact of Covid-19 on the aperitif market

With the pandemic crisis, the practice of aperitifs became more virtual and more family-oriented. Indeed, **% of those surveyed took part in one or more virtual aperitifs during the confinement period. What's more, **% of those who took part in one or more virtual aperitifs intend to continue this practice, which is important ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 The French, big fans of the aperitif

Consumer profile

Gender of aperitif consumers France, ****, percentage of respondents Source: ****

Men consume more aperitifs than women. In fact, **% of them consume them more than once a month, compared with **% of women. However, the gap narrows in summer.

Furthermore, young people are less frequent consumers than their elders, with only **% of ...

2.2 Aperitifs at home, a good time to eat crackers

**% of French people can host an aperitif at home at least once a week, and **% of French people can host an aperitif at home!

How often can the French enjoy an aperitif at home? France, ****, in ObSoCo

When are aperitifs served? France, ****, in usage study on the aperitif moment, May ****, origin ...

2.3 Consumers looking for healthy products

French consumers are increasingly turning to organic products. According to a study by Spirit Insight for Agence Bio, which surveyed *,*** French people over the age of **, representative of the national population in ****, **% of French people consume this type of product at least once a week, and **% every day. In ****, only **% of ...

2.4 Extremely cyclical demand

Interest in search "Apéritif France, ****-****, Google Trends index Source: ****

The results in the graph above reflect the proportion of searches for a given keyword in a specific region and for a specific period, in relation to the date when the rate of use of this keyword is highest (***). A ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Aperitif cookie market structure

The market is largely dominated by private labels. In ****, they will hold **.*% of market share. The leading industrial brand, PepsiCo, is a distant second with **% market share.

Market share in value of salted appetizers and potato chips players France, P* ****, as a percentage of market value Source: ****

While private labels are ...

3.2 French aperitif cookie production is dynamic

Naf code **.**z refers to the "manufacture of cookies, rusks and preserved pastries" and includes savoury aperitif products, including extruded products, and their assortments. It also includes preserved pastries (***) and pancakes, which are outside the scope of our study. It also excludes potato chips and potato-based aperitifs, which account for a ...

3.3 New players try to make their mark

Despite the high concentration of the market and the popularity of private labels, innovative brands are starting to produce aperitif cakes, in particular to meet new consumer expectations.

Created in ****, the Too Good brand has invaded supermarkets with its low-sugar, low-fat products. The No Chips range contains just *.*% fat, is vegan, ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Typology of aperitif products

There are * major segments in the snack cake market:

Salted seeds, which include roasted pistachios, peanuts, cashews, etc. Tiles and extruded products, which include tiles and extruded cookies such as Monster Munch, Curly, *D chips, etc. Potato and vegetable potato chips. And finally, savoury cookies, which include crackers.

Salted seeds account ...

4.2 Higher prices for healthy products

Aperitif cake prices are rising, and part of the observed growth in sales value is therefore due to inflation. If we look at the volume and value growth of the various products, we can deduce the impact of inflation on these segments.

Savoury cookies and tiles and extrudates have seen significant ...

4.3 An increasingly healthy, premium offering

Historic aperitif brands are developing their healthy product ranges to meet the expectations of consumers who are increasingly concerned about their health and the environment. This trend can be observed across all products.

In the salted seeds segment, Benenuts has launched its Plaisir Brut Bio range, with no added salt and ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Regulations

All foodstuffs are subject to the general provisions of the French Consumer Code in terms of conformity (***).

Several regulations lay down the legislative foundations for food hygiene in France:

Regulation n°***/**** on the general principles and requirements of food law[***] Regulation n°***/**** on the hygiene of foodstuffs[***] Regulation n°***/****, which lays ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation

  • PepsiCo
  • Mondelez France
  • Intersnack (Knabber Geback Group)
  • Kellogg's France - Kellanova France
  • Altho Brets
  • Triomphe Snat
  • Europe Snacks
  • Mondelez
  • Pringles (Kellogg's)
  • Belin (Mondelez groupe)
  • Lays
  • Vico (Groupe Intersnack)
  • Michel et Augustin
  • Benenuts (Pepsico)
  • Intersnacks France Curly
  • Pasquier (Groupe)

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Size of the global Savory Snacks market
  • Aperitif cookie sales
  • Type of aperitif consumers
  • Aperitif frequency by age group
  • France's favorite aperitif products
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Latest news

Vif to manage Brioche Pasquier's factory park - 21/03/2024
  • - Sales in 2022: 859 million euros.
  • - Number of employees: 3,600.
  • - Number of production sites: 17 (including 3 abroad: UK, USA, Spain).
  • - Sales presence: Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Asia.
  • - Five activities: brioche, rusks, patisserie, international, "Agri" division.

  • Vif: - Sales in 2023: 28 million euros.
  • - Number of employees: over 270.
  • - Number of sites equipped: over 700.
  • - Number of users: 18,000 in France and abroad.
Brets to promote fair trade potatoes with Agri-ethics label - 07/03/2024
  • - Altho is the French market leader in potato chips.
  • - 100% of Brets brand potato chips will be made from fairly-traded potatoes.
  • - 80% of Altho's potato requirements will be covered by this partnership with Agri-éthique, with the remainder purchased from traders.
  • - Altho was founded in 1995.
  • - Altho has 300 partner farmers.
  • - Agri-éthique was created in 2013 and is a subsidiary of the Cavac agricultural cooperative group.
  • - Agri-éthique has 43 organic and non-organic brands.
  • - Agri-éthique generated sales of 457 million euros.
  • - Brets has a 15% market share (by volume) in France and sales of 280 million euros.
  • - Brets is the second-largest French potato chip brand behind Lays, owned by the PepsiCo group.
Altho Brets invests 100 million euros in third potato chip plant - 13/12/2023
  • Altho, the potato chip specialist, is to invest 100 million euros in a third production unit.
  • Altho has a market share of over 15% in France, making it the country's second-largest producer.
  • The French consume an average of 1.3 kg of potato chips per person per year, lower than the European average of 2 kg per person per year.
  • The new plant is designed to produce 15,000 tonnes of product per year, bringing Altho's total production capacity to over 55,000 tonnes of product per year.
  • 40% of potato chips consumed in France are imported.
  • Altho Brets forecasts sales of 275 million euros this year, rising to 205 million euros by 2022.
  • Altho employs over 400 people between its sites in Morbihan and Ardèche.
Altho Brets confirms plans for €100 million plant in Morbihan, France - 09/12/2023
  • Altho Brets annual production: 40,000 tonnes of chips.
  • Altho Brets market share: 18% of the French market.
  • Investment announced by Altho Brets: €100 million in a new site.
  • Production capacity of the new site: 15,000 tons of potato chips per year.
  • Number of farmers supplying Altho Brets: 200 farmers.
  • Number of additional farmers needed for new production: 150.
  • Total number of Altho Brets employees: over 400.
  • Company sales in 2022: 206 million euros.
  • Percentage of potato chips consumed in France that are imported: 40%. Altho Brets: started operations in 1995.
Danone to sell Michel et Augustin to Italy's Ferrero - 08/12/2023
  • Danone first acquired a 40% stake in Michel et Augustin in 2016, then took over the remainder in 2020.
  • Danone had sold Lu to Kraft Foods (which became Mondelez in 2012) for $5.3 billion in 2007.
  • Ferrero acquired Delacre cookies in 2016, then Kellogg's cookies in 2019 for $1.15 billion.
  • In 2017, Ferrero accounted for 60% of growth in the cookie category on the French market.
  • Michel et Augustin is present in the United States, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland
Altho Brets invests €100 million in a new chip plant - 02/12/2023
  • Altho Brets investment: €100 million
  • Year of construction of third potato chip plant: end 2025 in Pontivy, Morbihan
  • Production capacity of the new plant: 15,000 tonnes of potato chips per year Percentage of potato chips consumed in France that are imported: 40%
  • Current number of employees: 336
  • Number of jobs likely to be created by the project: 40 by 2030.

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. :

Mondelez France
Intersnack (Knabber Geback Group)
Kellogg's France - Kellanova France
Altho Brets
Triomphe Snat
Europe Snacks
Pringles (Kellogg's)
Belin (Mondelez groupe)
Vico (Groupe Intersnack)

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