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1.1 Definition and scope of study

France remains one of the most interesting markets for cocoa and chocolate products. Indeed, there is a long tradition of chocolate consumption in the country, in many forms - bars, cocoa powder, sweets... - specific to Western Europe, which, along with the United States, is the main consumer centre.

Overall, manufacturing is still particularly concentrated in the hands of large multinationals such as Nestlé and Lindt. However, many French craftsmen and SMEs succeed in bringing traditional and French products to life.

The deterioration of the image of chocolate among consumers (a food that is bad for your health) has led to a drop in consumption in France. As a result, French SMEs have had limited means to develop. This has also encouraged multinationals (Nestlé, Mondelez...) to make acquisitions in order to consolidate their position.

To cope with this, the market has embarked on the development of premium, more personalised and dietetic products, which creates a differentiating element in relation to the products of private labels and multinationals.

1.2 Growing world market, difficulties in Europe

The production of cocoa beans is very demanding, as it requires a hot climate all year round, as well as high humidity and heavy rainfall (***). These conditions are mostly met by tropical forests. This explains why cocoa production is carried out in few different countries. Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana alone ...

1.3 A French market with solid fundamentals

France accounts for around *% of the European chocolate and chocolate products market, with a market of slightly less than *.* billion euros in ****. Contrary to the European trend, the market has maintained its value, with an average annual growth between **** and **** of *.*%. [***]

Source: ****
Overall, chocolate consumption is decreasing in France. Volumes sold ...

1.4 A market dependent on imports

The balance of trade related to chocolate and chocolate products is particularly in deficit, with a coverage rate of only **% in **** (***). This reflects a significant dependence of the French market on foreign imports, particularly for the chocolate candy and chocolate bars, bars and sticks segments. [***]

Source: ****
Imports do not come from ...


2.1 A regular and substantial consumption of chocolate

The average French budget for chocolate is around €*** per year per person, which is explained by a high consumption of chocolate products, divided between bars, spreads and bars (***). [***]

Source: ****
In fact, each French person consumes an average of *.** kg of chocolate each year, which puts the country at the * e place ...

2.2 The French favourite chocolates

The French say they prefer chocolate in some forms more than others. Thus, the bars are appreciated by nearly */* of French people aged **. As for fondant, soft and pain au chocolat, they are appreciated by more than **% of the population. [***]
It is important to note that preferences change significantly with age. ...

2.3 Chocolate and Holidays

An important dimension of chocolate is its consumption during the holidays (***). The first two holidays alone account for **.*% of chocolate consumption over the year. [***]
Indeed, **% of French people say they couldn't do without chocolate during the holiday season (***). [***]

Source: ****
* segments represent the ¾ of Easter sales in volume: mouldings, small eggs and ...

2.4 Towards healthier food consumption

CHD-Expert carried out a study on the evolution of the food consumption of the French. [ CHD-Expert She identified several trends at work:
The Vegan trend, which is lived as a philosophy of life, concerns only *% of the French. The more general healthy trend, which concerns more and more French people. Eating ...


3.1 A relatively concentrated market

It is possible to distinguish * types of manufacturers on the chocolate and chocolate factory market in France. [***]

The main ones are foreign multinationals (***), which have processing plants in France and abroad and export their products to France. Their main advantage is that they have brands that are known by consumers, distributed ...

3.2 Chocolate production

The production of chocolate is a relatively long and complex process, spread over several months and often several countries. It is important to distinguish the stages of cultivation, processing, chocolate manufacturing and then distribution. [***]
With crushing, roasting and grinding, the cocoa powder is extracted from the beans, then mixed and refined ...

3.3 Sales made mainly in supermarkets and hypermarkets

Most of the chocolate products marketed in France are sold in supermarkets and hypermarkets. This is partly due to the fact that the major brands, owned by the multinationals, do not generally have their own stores. Specialist shops also account for a large proportion of sales (***), which is linked to the ...


4.1 A very wide variety of products

It is possible to make a first distinction between cocoa and chocolate products according to the type of chocolate used for manufacture. The most common chocolates are dark and milk chocolate. They differ from each other in their cocoa, cocoa butter, milk and sugar content.

Source: ****
Then, these types of chocolates ...

4.2 Relatively stable prices

The prices of sugar, jam, chocolate and ice cream increased very little between **** and **** (***). [***]

Source: ****
However, in the chocolate products sector, the strategy adopted by manufacturers has been twofold. Firstly, some have repressed their prices via the adoption of a shrinkflation strategy: reducing quantities and maintaining prices. Other manufacturers have decided ...

4.3 Premiumisation of chocolate

Some changes are noticeable on the side of manufacturers of cocoa and chocolate products, particularly with the development of organic and premiumisation.
The organic trend
Today **% of French people consider the mention "organic" to be important for chocolate (***). This contrasts with the stagnation or even decline in sales in the sector. ...


5.1 Regulation of cocoa and chocolate products

Cocoa and chocolate products are subject to the regulations laid down in European Directive ****/**/EC, which covers in particular the composition and labelling of products. [***]
The regulations distinguish between * main categories of products:
The cacaos The chocolates Chocolate candies
The cocoa butter content of cocoa powder is a minimum of **% for ...


6.1 Segmentation of players

  • Ferrero
  • Lindt & Sprungli
  • Jeff de Bruges
  • Mondelēz France
  • Le Chocolat des Français

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