1.1 Market definition
In France, the market for food salts is structured around two main segments: those for private individuals (table salt, kitchen salt) and those for the agri-food industry (basic raw material).
Used as a preservative, widely used until the end of 19th in the 21st century, dietary salt provides the human body with two essential nutrients:
- chloride, ensuring the acidity of gastric juice
- sodium, important for the hydromineral balance of cells and the body
This essential condiment combines the flavours of sodium and chloride ions to give a characteristic salty taste to the foods it accompanies, or in which it is incorporated. If the salt in moderate quantity is essential to health it can, on the contrary, be harmful in too large a quantity. In these two markets, salt producers have experienced over the last decade reductions of volume consumption in a context marked by the communication campaigns of the National Nutrition and Health Programme.
Nevertheless, the market for food salts in France seems to have taken a turn for better moving up the range which is reflected in the rejuvenation of consumer brands and product diversification. This competition is particularly tough for the two leaders La Baleine (Salins du Midi) and Cerebos, which alone represent a significant part of this market.
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