The chip market


1.1 Definition and general presentation of the market

Chips are believed to have been born in the United States at the end of the 19th century and have now become one of the best-selling products in mass distribution. Chips are a sub-segment of the snacking market, largely dominated by the United States.

There are different types of chips:

  • Natural chips (thin, flat, tile, etc.)
  • Flavoured chips (for example: barbecue, cheese, onions, vinegar)
  • Vegetables chips (e.g. based on radishes, parsnips, carrots, beets, etc.)

The global chips market is first and foremost a very western market where the United States and Europe largely dominate in terms of turnover generated.The French chips market is growing and is expected to remain so in the coming years. The consumption of chips per person also follows the same trend.

The marketing innovations (packaging, communication, merchandising) and product innovations (herbs, flavours, spices...) are trying to boost this market even more. However, France has the particularity of being a market where the seasonality of consumption is much higher than in the rest of Europe's neighbours. Chips remain above all products associated with summer and consumed during barbecues and festive evenings.

In this context, the main market players are trying to diversify their supply offering new recipes (vegetable and fruit chips) but also investing in the high-end segment of the market in order to stimulate more regular demand (snacking ) or a consumption as a meal accompaniment . Also, the chips market is not immune to the organic and health trends and sees the appearance of many lightened references,  without palm oil or resulting from a sustainable production.

The French market, similarly to the global market, remains relatively concentrated around global players such as PepsiCo .

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