Content of the study:
The contact lens market - France

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1.1 Definition and scope of study

Contact lenses are a type of optical equipment consisting of a thin lens placed on the eye to correct a visual problem, treat an eye defect or improve appearance. Together with corrective eyewear and sunglasses , they form part of the category of optical equipment. This study will consider the entire contact lens value chain, from manufacture to distribution and consumption by the end customer. However, particular attention will be paid to corrective lenses rather than therapeutic or cosmetic lenses, as corrective lenses account for a very large share of the contact lens market in France.

Growing slowly at the turn of the century, the contact lens market in France has been reinvigorated since 2014 by a series of laws and new lein particular, the formalization of online sales has profoundly altered the structure of the market. The market experienced very strong growth after the pandemic (+15.2% between 2020 and 2021), due to changes in behavior or the resumption of habits following the recovery.

While the contact lens manufacturing market is rather condensed, the distribution market is much more fragmented, with the number of optician outlets rising steadily since 2007. The contact lens market, which today represents a small share of the medical optics market (6.1%), is facing new challenges: connected lenses, less polluting lenses, changes in behavior with the democratization of surgical masks...

1.2 Global market growth

Within a global optics market valued at nearly *** billion euros in ****, the worldwide contact lens market weighed in at around $*.* billion (***) in the same year. The contact lens market thus grew by +**.*% between **** and ****, and is expected to continue growing at a CAGR of +*.*% through to ****, reaching around US$**.* billion[***].

Global ...

1.3 The booming domestic market

The French contact lens market is estimated to reach around ***.* million euros in ****. In fact, according to figures provided by Santé.gouv, lenses accounted for *.*% of medical optics expenditure in ****, amounting to almost *.* billion euros[***].

Contact lens market and evolution France, ****-****, in €M and % Source: ****

The rebound in **** is mainly ...

1.4 Foreign trade

France's trade balance for contact lenses is heavily in deficit, with imports in **** amounting to $***.* million, compared with exports of just $**.* million. Imports, on the other hand, grew by +**.*% between **** and ****, a sign of a very strong recovery in world trade following the restrictions imposed by the health crisis. In ****, France's ...


2.1 Demand still marginal but with potential

The French still wear few contact lenses, both in comparison with other European countries and in relation to the number of spectacle wearers.

The French prefer glasses

In ****, around * out of * French people will have corrective eyewear. Poor visual health tends to increase with age. Indeed, while **% of **-** year-olds need ...

2.2 Healthcare spending on the rise in France

Consumption of medical care and goods, including contact lenses, has been rising steadily for several years. This expenditure represented ***.* billion euros in ****, and reached ***.* billion euros in ****, or *.*% of French GDP. Over the period, consumption therefore increased by **.*%. It is estimated that in ****, annual consumption of medical care and goods reached ...

2.3 French preferences

Reasons for choosing lenses

While discomfort is the main reason why contact lenses are abandoned(***), contact lens wearers point to numerous advantages over glasses.

Reasons for wearing contact lenses France, ****, in Source: ****

France's favorite opticians

In ****, France's favorite optical brand is Optic ****. This top ranking is primarily due to the richness ...


3.1 Value chain

The care pathway and the different healthcare professionals involved

Only an ophthalmologist can issue a prescription for contact lenses, but not all ophthalmologists practice contactology. During the appointment, the specialist examines the eyes through various tests, then draws up the prescription according to the person's specific needs. The first prescription is ...

3.2 Contact lens manufacturing

The contact lens manufacturing sector is highly concentrated, dominated by a handful of laboratory manufacturers, including Bausch & Lomb, Ciba Vision, Cooper Vision, Johnson & Johsnon, Menicon... These laboratories are major international groups.

Among the French laboratories manufacturing contact lenses is LCS, specialized in premium made-to-measure lenses. The company holds a patent for ...

3.3 Distribution and profitability

Contact lens distribution

Here we consider the data provided by NAF code **.**A "Optical retailing", which includes the activities of opticians. Note, however, that this code does not include all types of lens distributors. In contrast to the lens and eyewear manufacturing activity, the number of establishments and employees increased between ...

3.4 The boom in online sales since they became official

Online contact lens sales accelerated sharply with the formalization of Internet lens sales in **** (***). In ****, while only *% of French people believe they will favor online purchases for their optical expenses, this figure rises to **% for contact lens purchases[***]. The digitalization of the sector is therefore booming.

This liberalization has also altered ...


4.1 The different types of contact lenses

By type and lifespan

Depending on how they're made, lenses can be soft or rigid, and they don't all require the same frequency of renewal. The choice among all these parameters is made by the ophthalmologist when prescribing lenses.

Soft lenses

Soft lenses can be daily, bi-monthly or monthly. The most ...

4.2 An upward trend in lentil prices

If we consider the data provided by INSEE for the "medical optics" category, we observe that the consumer price index for medical optics items has been on the rise since ****, gaining +*.*% over ****-****[***].

Consumer price index for medical optics France, ****-****, base *** in **** Source: ****

Annual budget of a contact lens wearer ...

4.3 Supply trends

Lenses and the environment

The contact lens market is particularly polluting, especially as many consumers use daily lenses. According to an American study published in the NY Times, around **% of contact lens users flush their lenses down the toilet or sink. This waste then inevitably finds its way into the oceans, ...


5.1 Regulations governing the sale of contact lenses

Prior to ****, internet sales of healthcare products (***) were prohibited in France. The European Commission then obliged France to open up the market to online opticians, but the market remained without a legislative framework for several years following this decision. The online sale of optical products was then gradually regulated by a ...

5.2 Social Security reimbursement

Assurance Maladie covers only a very small proportion of contact lenses, and mainly those prescribed for reasons other than the correction of a visual problem. The lenses covered are those prescribed for the following reasons:

Irregular astigmatism Accommodative squint Myopia greater than or equal to * dioptres Aphakia Anisometropia up to * diopters ...


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The contact lens market - France

Publicado en 18/05/2023 by Antonio Miguel SALINAS - STELLANTIS

Quality work on the purchased study

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