Summary of our market study

The French hearing aid market is estimated at 2.2 billion euros in 2023.

In 2020, the global hearing aid market experienced a significant downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with sales falling by 17% year-on-year after years of steady growth.

In France, the market proved more resilient, resuming strong growth from 2021. This reform should bring France closer to the reimbursement models observed in neighboring European countries, which could boost equipment rates and increase accessibility for the French population.

Analysis of market demand for hearing aids in France

The market will be worth around €2.2 billion by 2023.

The hearing aid market in France has experienced strong growth. This market responds to a medical need: to improve the hearing capacities of people suffering from hearing deficiencies. These impairments not only present physical challenges, but also affect social interaction and overall quality of life.

A significant proportion of demand in the hearing aid market is due to the ageing of the population. As life expectancy continues to rise, the segment of the population aged over 65 represents around one-fifth. With age-related hearing loss prevalent in more than half of all people over the age of 80, the number of potential customers in the market is considerable. This segment alone accounts for between 80 and 90% of hearing-related healthcare procedures in France.

However, access to hearing aids is not just a matter of necessity, as the high cost of these medical devices is very high. An average price of around 1,500 euros per ear and an average renewal cycle of five to six years represent a significant financial burden for individuals.

This high cost has led to a low equipment rate among eligible people with hearing loss, hovering around 25% before any government intervention. The introduction of 100% healthcare coverage for hearing aids, with a ceiling of 950 euros per ear, has caused the market to explode.

These regulatory changes have had a substantial impact on the market take-up of hearing aids.

The market itself is concentrated around a few major international manufacturers and distributors. The majority of sales are made through specialist outlets, which account for around 90% of the market.

Integrated networks such as Audika and Amplifon maintain a significant presence within this distribution system.

Key market players

Main manufacturers and distributors

  • GN Hearing an international player
  • Sonova (Phonak) a leader in hearing care solutions
  • WS Audiology, the result of the merger between Widex and Sivantos

Distribution

  • independent hearing aid practitioners collectively make up an important segment of the market.
  • Amplifon has an extensive network of sales outlets
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 The hearing aid market

A hearing aid is a medical prosthesis intended for people with a hearing impairment and allowing certain sounds to be amplified according to the needs encountered

Historically, the first modern hearing aids appeared at the beginning of the 20th century with the invention of the first earphone by the Sonotone company in 1929. Hearing aids have since become portable and increasingly discreet, particularly with the use of smaller, more efficient microprocessors since the late 1990s.

The hearing aids market can be split into three product categories, namely:

  • In-the-ear prostheses ;
  • BTE prostheses that contour the user's ear;
  • In-the-canal hearing aids with the microphone placed in the ear canal to reduce the size of the outer case.

The global market for hearing aids is growing steadily and the number of devices sold is increasing, until the health crisis halted this momentum. The market is concentrated around a few major international players

The French market has been growing steadily for several years and has not really been affected by Covid-19. This market is driven in part by the aging population and increasingly efficient technologies. The price represented a brake to the purchase, but to allow a greater number of French people the access to a hearing medical device, the government set up since January 1st, 2021, the 100% Health, the RAC 0 ("reste à charge zéro") which makes it possible to have a fully refunded device.

The market is organized around numerous specialized outlets, some of which are independent, throughout the country, which are facing competition from the diversification of the optical industry and from certain pharmacies

1.2 A growing global market

Hearing aid sales of EHIMA members World, ****-****, million units CAGR: *.* Source: ****

The graph shows the evolution of the number of hearing aids sold by the members of the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (***), the world's largest hearing aid manufacturers The global hearing aids market was growing steadily until ****, before the ...

1.3 Presentation of the French market, an important market with strong growth prospects

Hearing aid sales of the top * hearing aid manufacturers France, **** - ****, in thousands of units Source: ****

The French hearing aid market has been experiencing sustained growth for several years. According to the SNITEM (***), but the French market has therefore weathered the health crisis better than the global market. The growth continues ...

1.4 Impact covid

Hearing loss due to COVID-** infection?

Anosmia (***) are known symptoms of the virus, but some have wondered about hearing loss. In October ****, a patient was officially deafened by a Covid-** infection diagnosed as deaf [***]. If correlations between the two phenomena are proven, one can imagine that this would be a growth ...

2 Analysis of the demand

2.1 Demand based on medical needs

Inelastic demand

Hearing aids are in demand because they are necessary for life in society. Hearing loss is a handicap that needs to be overcome. Thus, a **** study by UNSAF in fact, it has been shown that the demand for hearing aids is inelastic to price. On the one hand, demand ...

2.2 A demand linked to the ageing of the population

The ageing of the population and the increase in life expectancy

While life expectancy has only increased over the last ** years for both men and women (***), health is still a major concern for society.

According to the INSEE With a population of **.*** million as of January *, ****, France has approximately one in ...

2.3 Reasons for non-equipment: price

The rate of equipment in hearing aids is only **% in France in **** according to data from the association UFC Que Choisir With more than *.* million people not equipped.

For the consumer association UFC Que Choisir, this under-equipment is mainly due to the high price of hearing aids. As we have seen, ...

2.4 Prosthesis renewal

Time to renew hearing aids by year France, ****, % Source: ****

In a study conducted by Health Insurance since **** and published in ****, it was found that **% of patients had returned to a hearing aid before **** when they had been fitted with two devices in the period ****-****. Most renewed both hearing aids (***) and ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Hearing aid manufacturers and hearing aid practitioners

A distinction must be made between, on the one hand hearing aid manufacturers whose activity is purely industrial and the activity of the audioprosthesists who adapt prostheses to the morphology of their patients' ears

Steps to take to get a hearing aid:

Source: ****

The first thing to do is to take ...

3.2 Distribution

There are not many distribution channels for hearing aids, the two main ones being hearing aid stores and pharmacies.

The purchase of hearing aids is regulated by law and it is impossible in France to buy hearing aids on the internet as the law obliges hearing aid specialists to receive the ...

3.3 The players: dependence between distributors and brands

Competition is strong among hearing aid manufacturers. There are * international players in the production industry GN Hearing , Sanova (***), Prodition , Followers , Starkey and Widex . [***]

As of ****, Widex and Sivantos have merged to create WS Audiology . This merger of two major hearing aid players has created a strong company with combined sales of ...

4 Analysis of the offer

4.1 A wide range of hearing aids

As said earlier, the hearing aid market is generally divided into three product categories, namely:

In-the-ear prostheses ; BTE prostheses that contour the user's ear; The remote headphones.

In addition to the hearing aids In addition, there are sound amplifiers on the market that are sometimes called " listening assistants "These are pre-set ...

4.2 All price ranges of hearing aids

As a reminder, the average cost of a hearing aid is *,*** euros, which is an average investment of *,*** euros for people who have equipped both ears (***) and the average renewal time for a hearing aid is * and a half years. Behind this average price is actually a different range of prices ...

4.3 A shortage of hearing aid practitioners which increases the cost of hearing aids

According to the consumer association UFC Que Choisir, the shortage of hearing aid professionals has resulted in particularly high gross margins for the profession, in the order of **%, which is responsible for the high prices of hearing aids, but also for the fact that part of the population has given up ...

4.4 Hearing aid accessories

Hearing aids are available to provide more comfort to users:

TV connectivity accessories to transmit sound directly to hearing aids Accessories for rechargeable batteries Smartphone accessories for sound in hearing aids or for remote control of hearing aids Maintenance accessories such as cleaning sprays or damp-proofing tablets

Examples of accessories, found ...

5 Regulation

5.1 Regulatory framework for the hearing aid market

The National Union of Audioprosthetists offers a reminder of the profession's current regulations on its internet site .

Access to the profession of hearing aid acoustician and its practice are governed by a set of laws, decrees and orders that are codified in the Public Health Codes (***)

There is also a national ...

5.2 Coverage of hearing aids: the 100% Health reform

The health insurance reimburses, on medical prescription, hearing aids and their accessories. The reimbursement depends on the age of the patient and the severity of his or her hearing impairment. There are two classes of hearing aids, Class I covers the so-called essential hearing needs and Class * covers hearing aids that ...

6 Positioning of the actors

6.1 Segmentation

  • Sonova Groupe
  • Prodition (Groupe Demant)
  • Starkey
  • WS Audiology (Widex Sivantos)
  • GN Hearing
  • Unitron (Sonova Groupe)
  • Audika (Groupe Demant)
  • Amplifon
  • Alain Afflelou Accousticien
  • Audition Mutualiste
  • Krys Group
  • Demant groupe

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Hearing aid sales of EHIMA members
  • Rate of equipment for the hearing impaired and hearing aid users
  • Hearing aid sales of the top 7 hearing aid manufacturers* by device type
  • Estimated market for hearing aids
  • Hearing aid sales of the top 7 hearing aid manufacturers
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Latest news

Krys Group puts the finishing touches to the modernization of its Bazainville plant - 08/03/2024
  • -Investment in expansion and modernization program: 23 million euros
  • - Post-renovation manufacturing capacity increase: 30%
  • - Planned production capacity: 1.8 million units per year
  • - Krys Group sales in 2023: €1.265 billion
  • - Number of associates: around 900, representing 1,600 points of sale
  • - Supplying around a thousand independent opticians
  • - Krys Group plans to open 400 additional stores by 2028.
Krys group: innovations for the ecological transition - 06/02/2024
  • Codir, a subsidiary of Krys Group, grouping together its industrial and logistics activities, will produce 1.4 million lenses by 2021
  • The subsidiary employs 330 people
  • Krys Group generates sales of 1.2 billion euros, and has 1,533 stores in France, as well as around 50 in Belgium, Poland and Morocco.
  • With its two other banners, Le Collectif des lunetiers and Lynx Optique, the Group has a 16.5% market share in France.
  • Its ambition is to open a further 400 outlets by 2028.
  • Over the past ten years, it has expanded into the hearing sector, with 277 centers.
Optician Krys Group expands its French plant and frees itself from Asia - 27/06/2023
  • 1,533 Krys stores worldwide
  • The cooperative moves into the production of advanced lenses such as progressive lenses
  • Basic lenses sourced in Europe (Hungary, Czech Republic)
  • Frames: 50% from Europe, 50% from Asia
  • Bazainville plant created in 1998
  • 400,000 high value-added lenses relocated to France
  • Investment: 16 million euros
  • Production forecast: 1.4 to 1.8 million lenses per year
  • Lens edging capacity: up to 3.5 million lenses
  • Krys produces 25% to 30% of the lenses sold by its opticians Krys Group is the French market leader
In the optics marketKrys Group goes from strength to strength - 22/03/2023
  • Combined sales of Krys Group's optical and hearing care businesses: €1.265 billion
  • - Krys Group optical market share: 16.5
  • - Number of Krys Group stores by the end of 2022: 1,533
  • - Number of Krys Group employees: 6,000
  • - Krys Group investment plan: 23 million euros
  • - Number of lenses produced at the Bazainville industrial site by 2023: 1.8 million
  • - Number of lenses diverted from the Bazainville industrial site by 2023: 3.5 million
Krys modernizes its image and changes its logo - 06/02/2023
  • around 1,000 stores in France

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Sonova Groupe
Prodition (Groupe Demant)
Starkey
WS Audiology (Widex Sivantos)
GN Hearing
Unitron (Sonova Groupe)
Audika (Groupe Demant)
Amplifon
Alain Afflelou Accousticien
Audition Mutualiste
Krys Group
Demant groupe

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