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1.1 Presentation and market definition

Biscuits are generally made of flour, eggs, sugar, and sometimes fat. The biscuit market in France includes both sweet and savoury biscuits. It differs from the confectionery or chocolate markets, but like the latter, it offers a real product diversity. It concerns in particular: dry biscuits, egg and wafer biscuits, chocolate pastry biscuits and assortments, and soft cakes and gingerbreads.

Sweet biscuits (egg, butter, etc.) are usually consumed at breakfast, at 4 p.m. or at mid-morning snack time.

Savoury biscuits (or appetizers' snacking, excluding chips), on the other hand, are mainly consumed in France at the time of the aperitif (around 7 p.m., before dinner).

France holds more than 100 biscuits factories on the territory (from VSEs to large groups), and the total annual consumption of biscuits and cakes is around 8 kg per person, close to the European Union average of 8.4 kg per person. Dry and snack biscuits accounted for about 40% of this total consumption in 2016.


1.2 A troubled global market

According to LSA, the worldwide turnover of the sugar biscuit industry was estimated at €*.** billion in ****, which represents a decrease of *.*% in value and *.*% in volume compared to the previous year.
The biscuit segments of the world's largest companies were affected, particularly due to the flourishing debates about the harm of ...

1.3 A rather dynamic national market

According to Vitagora, the French biscuit market amounts to more than * billion euros in ****, equivalent to ***,*** tonnes and an *.*% growth in value between **** and ****.
For savoury biscuits, according to LSA, this segment represented *** million euros in ****, with a *.*% growth in volume.
France, seen as a temple of gastronomy, enjoys a significant ...


2.1 Demand mainly focused on pastry biscuits and dry biscuits

The diagram below highlights the distribution of the demand for biscuits among French people: they consume on average each year *.* kg of pastry biscuits, *.* kg of dry biscuits and *.* kg of egg and wafer biscuits.
Biscuits demand in France

pastry biscuits, dry biscuits, egg and wafer biscuits
Source: ****
The biscuits consumption ...

2.2 Consumption habits and main trends

New consumption patterns, including the growth of snacking driven by new offers of healthy and quality products, have had a direct positive impact on sales. People are more likely to nibble snacks and destructure their meals, therefore, they are more likely to consume small portions of sweet or savoury biscuits. The ...

2.3 Qui sont les consommateurs de biscuits?

Les données Kantar ci-dessous montrent la fréquence à laquelle les Français ont eu une collation sucrée par semaine en ****, selon l’âge. On distingue globalement deux types de profils :
Les enfants, qui consomment principalement à l’heure du goûter, près de * fois par semaine. Les personnes de ...

2.4 Tendance de la demande : le bio

En ****, **% des Français consommaient déjà des biscuits biologiques, et cette part atteignait même **% parmi les consommateurs réguliers de produits biologiques. Parmi eux, **% consomment quasi uniquement des biscuits écologiques, **% les consomment en majorité, et pour **%la part de bio dans leur consommation totale de biscuit n'est que faible. ...


3.1 Large distributors versus small artisanal manufacturers

The biscuit manufacturing activity is mainly concentrated in France, and the leaders in the sector are essentially subsidiaries of large diversified groups.
In general, we notice that the savoury biscuits segment has significantly fewer players than the sweet biscuits segment but we can mention the giants Mondelez International and Intersnack France, ...

3.2 The preparation and packaging of biscuits and cakes: a multi-step process depending on raw materials

In the production of biscuits in France, it is important to distinguish the manufacturing process of sweet biscuits from that of savoury biscuits.
For sweet biscuits the dough is prepared thanks to the kneading of raw materials during between * and ** minutes depending on the type of kneading performed. The dough is ...

3.3 An internationally renowned French production

According to the CREDOC processing of a CCAF survey, French companies produced ***,*** tonnes of biscuits and cakes in ****, about *% more than the previous year (***). Pastry biscuits alone account for ***,*** tonnes of production. Biscuit production was also up to *.*% compared to ****.
Export represents a considerable growth lever, in the face of a ...

3.4 The different distribution channels

As indicated by Statista, the sweet/savoury biscuit market's distribution in France mainly involves large-scale distribution and small traders. Thus, we distinguish four main distribution channels (***):
Supermarkets, which represented **.*% of the market in ****. Hypermarkets, which represented **.*% of the market in ****. Hard-discount stores, which accounted for **.*% of the market in ****, and which ...


4.1 Production evolves with consumer requirements

The packaging is a significant business argument in this sector, since it represents the brand's image and must meet consumer requirements, particularly in terms of practicality and conservation of the products. Industrialists thus play on the format variations and are increasingly offering individual packages due to the growth of the on-the-go ...

4.2 Overview of prices and products

There is a very wide variety of biscuits in France, of which we can cite some examples:
Savoury biscuits: Crackers Pretzels Flavoured biscuits Sweet biscuits: Pastry biscuits Dry biscuits Chocolate and fruit biscuits Filled biscuits Breakfast biscuits Cookies Galettes (***)
When sold, the price of biscuits depends on the brand, the type ...

4.3 Les coûts de production

Les coûts de production des MDD (***)
Les prix à la production des biscuits suivent une tendance haussière ces dernières années. En effet, si l'on observe les données fournies par l'INSEE, les indices de prix à la production (***) atteignaient ***,* et ***,* pour les MDD et les Marques nationales respectivement. Néanmoins, ...


5.1 The truth on labels

The biscuit market in France is experiencing regulatory requirements which can constitute significant barriers to entry. Some strict rules in relation to the labelling or to the allergens must be respected. Indeed, according to the Professional Charter of the Biscuit and Cake Manufacturers of France, the mandatory information must be clear ...

5.2 La Loi Egalim

Afin d’équilibrer davantage les relations entre producteurs et fournisseurs, la « loi alimentation » votée en octobre **** devrait influencer les pratiques du secteur. Il s’agit d’inverser la construction des prix qui se baseront d'abord sur les coûts de production mais aussi d’équilibrer le rapport de force entre ...


6.1 Segmentation

Companies specialized in the food industry:
Mondelez International Ferrero United Biscuits Michel & Augustin Galapagos Roullier Intersnack
Saint-Michel-Biscuits Lotus Bakeries Kambly Poult Biscuits Bouvard La Trinitaine Fossier Filet Bleu

  • Mondeléz International
  • Ferrero
  • Groupe Poult
  • Groupe Galapagos
  • Biscuits Bouvard
  • La Trinitaine
  • Groupe Roullier
  • Fossier
  • Intersnack France
  • Filet Bleu
  • United Biscuits France
  • Saint-Michel
  • Lotus Bakeries
  • Kambly France
  • Michel et Augustin

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Pierre Doussau

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