Summary of our market study

The organic chocolate market in France is valued at over €200 million.

In 2020, the European chocolate market was valued at $14.47 billion and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5% between 2021 and 2025, with the UK, Germany and France being the main markets.

The sector is dominated by a few major companies in the non-organic space - Ferrero, Mondelez, Nestlé, Lindt and Mars - and supermarkets are the main sales channel for chocolate.

The average chocolate budget of French consumers is €270 per person per year, with an average consumption of 7.31 kg per person per year.

Demand for organic chocolate has been particularly robust, valued at $824 million worldwide in 2020, with forecasts for a CAGR of 6.1% to 2028.

Organic chocolate costs around twice as much as traditional chocolate, and the market faces strict European regulations requiring at least 95% organic ingredients in certified products.

The organic chocolate segment in France grew by 21% in 2020, despite the health crisis, indicating a strong consumer shift towards sustainable products.

The market is fragmented, characterized by the presence of multinational groups, SMEs and artisans, with Alter Eco (Ecotone Group) and Ethiquable being notable leaders.

The French chocolate industry's trade balance shows a dependence on imports, particularly from Germany and Belgium, with a coverage rate of just 56% in 2020.

changing preferences and seasonal peaks in the French chocolate landscape.

In the mature French market, where growth rates are low due to high per capita consumption (ranked 6th in Europe), buyers are showing a growing penchant for organic products. Average annual growth is around 12.4%.

French consumers spend between 250 and 300 euros a year on chocolate. Over 80% of the population claim to enjoy chocolate at least once a week, and almost a third every day. Preferences vary according to demographic group. Tablets appeal to almost two-thirds of the population, with a particular predilection for people over 55, while young people show a predilection for processed chocolate products, such as pastries.

Dark and milk chocolates are consumers' favorites, with a notable penchant for darker varieties that develops with age. Men show a clear preference for dark over milk chocolate.

Demand for chocolate is seasonal, with major sales peaks during traditional festive seasons. Christmas and Easter alone account for 10.1% and 4.4% respectively of chocolatiers' annual sales.

Organic chocolates account for 4% of the French chocolate market, and 9% in the bar category. They are distinguished by their "AB" label, which indicates that they comply with strict European regulations on organic production. This has propelled two major French companies, Alter Eco and Ethiquable, to the forefront of this industry segment, with sales of almost 30 million euros each.

When it comes to organic chocolate in France, the market is made up of a large number of players

  • Alter Eco, an established pioneer in the import and distribution of organic and fair-trade products, offers a varied selection of organic chocolate bars. The ethics of social responsibility and sustainability are deeply rooted in their business model.

  • Ethiquable, a cooperative firmly rooted in fair trade practices, offers a range of organic chocolates sourced from a network of small producer cooperatives.

Private labels control a significant share of the market

  • Cémoi manages to dominate the organic chocolate bar segment in private labels.
  • Biocoop, Biomonde and La Vie Claire have set up extensive networks dedicated to the retail sale of organic products, including chocolates.
  • Ferrero, Lindt & Sprüngli, Mondelez and Mars Chocolate continue to influence large swathes of the market with their internationally recognized brands, although they do not focus solely on organic segments.
  • Kaoka, Ombar and Moulin des Moines appeal to a growing niche of consumers looking for variety and specialty in their organic chocolate consumption. These brands offer top-quality bars and inventive confectionery.
  • Vijaya, Rapunzel and Vahiné, meet the demand for organic chocolate ingredients - such as chocolate chips - aimed at both amateur cooks and professional chefs looking for organic and fair-trade options.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

The chocolate called "organic" is a chocolate labeled "AB" in accordance with European regulations, ie at least 95% of the ingredients used are from organic farming [Eur-Lexthis means that at least 95% of the ingredients used are organically grown, without chemical additives, and that the cocoa beans have not been treated with pesticides or GMOs. [Bioconsumers].

The organic chocolate market can be divided into different product categories

  • Chocolate bars (pastry bars, bars with ingredients, tasting bars)
  • Spreads
  • Chocolate bars
  • Confectionery
  • Cocoa powder

Although France is a key market for the chocolate industry and is ranked 6th in terms of per capita consumption (all products combined), the market is mature, with low growth rates

In this context, the organic segment represents a significant growth relay, surfing on more sustainable consumption habits and concerns about the ecological issue within society.

The French organic chocolate market is fragmented, composed of a wide variety of players: multinational groups, SMEs and artisans. Logically, the chocolate segment attracts major organic players and some French companies, such as Alter Éco, play a leading role.

1.2 Chocolates, organic products and organic chocolates in the world

The production of cocoa beans is very demanding, since it requires a warm climate all year round, as well as high humidity accompanied by significant rainfall (***). These conditions are mostly met in tropical forests. This explains why cocoa production is carried out in few different countries. The Ivory Coast and Ghana ...

1.3 Overview of the French market

Key figures of the chocolate market

The chocolate union, in its complete infographic for the year **** estimates the sales of chocolate in supermarkets at*,*** million euros, with ***,*** tons of chocolate sold. [***]

Overview of the organic market in France

France is the*nd European country in sales of organic products, behind ...

1.4 Trade balance

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

Exports and imports of cocoa and cocoa products France, ...

2 Analysis of the demand

2.1 Key figures for chocolate consumption in France

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

Turnover of the chocolate segments France, ****, € billion Source: ****

In fact, each French person consumes an average of *.** kg of chocolate ...

2.2 French preferences by chocolate product

The French declare that they prefer chocolate in certain forms more than others. Thus, bars are appreciated by nearly */* of the French ** years old. The fondant, soft and chocolate breads are appreciated by more than **% of the population. [***]

It is important to note that preferences change significantly with age. While bars ...

2.3 Cyclicality of demand and organic chocolate craze

According to the Syndicat National du Chocolatsales of chocolates take place mainly at Christmas and Easter. These two periods cumulate respectively **.*% and *.*% of the turnover of chocolate makers

Share of organic chocolate in the total chocolate market France, **** - ****, in % Source: ****

The organic chocolate market has shown impressive growth in recent ...

3 Market structure

3.1 A fragmented market

The chocolate market in France is made up of *** companies, **% of which are SMEs. **% of chocolate employees work in industrial production, i.e. ** *** jobs for ** *** employees in the chocolate market (***).

Two French leaders in the organic chocolate segment

Although the chocolate market, and a fortiori that of organic chocolate, is an ...

3.2 The organic sweet goods department

The various products of the organic chocolate market are grouped within the organic sweet grocery at various retailers (***).

In ****, the Organic grocery department represented **% of the total sales of organic products in France at GMS (***), i.e. *.* billion out of *.* billion euros in total. Organic sweet groceries grew by **% in value ...

3.3 Chocolate production chain

The production chain of the chocolate industry can be summarized as follows:

Source: ****

Cocoa production

More than ***,*** hectares of cocoa were produced organically in ****. This represents *.*% of the total area cultivated for cocoa.

The majority of cultivated areas are located in Africa (***). [***]

Democratic Republic of Congo (***) Sierra Leone (***) Dominican Republic (***) Peru ...

3.3 Le rayon épicerie bio

Les différents produits du marché du chocolat bio sont regroupés au sein de l’épicerie sucrée Bio chez les différents revendeurs (***).

En ****, le rayon épicerie Bio représentait **% du chiffre d’affaires total des produits bio en France chez les GMS (***), soit *,* milliards sur *,* milliards d’euros ...

3.5 A concentrated market

An overview of the market

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

Distribution of the number of companies by size and number France, ****, in % Source: ****

The main ones are the foreign multinationals (***), which have processing plants in France and abroad, and ...

4 Analysis of the offer

4.1 Organic chocolate/chocolate product lines

In its latest infographic, the Syndicat du Chocolat breaks down the sales of chocolate products into * product categories:

Chocolate bars (***) Chocolate spreads (***) Chocolate bars (***) Confectionery (***) Cocoa powder (***)

Chocolate bars

A distinction is generally made between pastry bars (***). Organic chocolate is perfectly illustrated in these three categories, with the highest penetration rates ...

4.2 Average price

According to Simon Kucherorganic chocolate is generally twice as expensive as traditional chocolate. However, this depends greatly on the brand of the product.

Basic organic chocolate bars are sold at around *.*€ per *** grams in private labels [***], pastry chocolate can be enjoyed from *€ per kilogram, while products from recognized brands such as ...

5 Regulation

5.1 Regulations

The composition for each category of chocolate in cocoa and cocoa butter is delimited by the Codex Stan **-****, Rev.* -****.

The introduction of vegetable fats other than cocoa butter is also controlled with a threshold of *% of the total weight of the bar with a clear indication on the product ...

6 Positioning of the actors

6.1 Segmentation

  • Ecotone Groupe (Alter Eco, Bjorg, Bonneterre)
  • Ethiquable
  • Jardin Bio (Léa Nature)
  • Cémoi (Sweet Products)
  • Biocoop
  • Biomonde
  • La vie Claire
  • Ferrero
  • Lindt & Sprungli
  • Mondelez
  • Jean Louis Boyère Vijaya
  • Vahiné (McCormic France)
  • Kaoka
  • Ombar
  • Moulin Meckert (Moulin des Moines)
  • Nestlé Groupe
  • Mars Group
  • Les Biolonistes
  • Rapunzel

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Countries' share of world cocoa production by volume
  • Market trends for chocolate and chocolate factories
  • 3 largest exporters of chocolate bars in Volume
  • Principales origines des imports de cacao bio en UE
  • Taille du marché du chocolat bio
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Latest news

Ferrero pursues its breakthrough in frozen foods with the launch of a nutella ice cream - 23/05/2024
  • - Launch of Ferrero ice cream brand in Europe: 2021
  • - Launch of Kinder ice creams in partnership with Unilever: 2018
  • - First Ferrero ice cream products: Ferrero Rocher and Raffaello (round, crunchy sticks)
  • - Relaunch of Kinder ice creams with in-house production: 2022
  • - Consumption of Kinder Bueno ice creams: 1.4 million consumers in 2023
  • - Sales of Kinder Bueno ice creams: 13.6 million euros in 2023
Organic crisis: the worst is over for the owner of Bjorg and Alter Eco - 28/03/2024
  • Ecotone, European leader in organic products,
  • Bjorg, Bonneterre and Alter Eco chocolate brands
  • Group sales were stable at 693 million euros, but down 6% in volume.
  • Three quarters of Ecotone's business is with supermarket chains, which account for 53% of market share.
  • Two plants in France and seven others in Italy, Spain, England and Germany
  • 1.600 employees
Nestlé sells its Natur baby food products to FNB - 06/02/2024
  • nestlé is the world's number one food company.
  • FNB is a French investment fund specializing in small and medium-sized food companies.
  • Nestlé is in exclusive negotiations with FNB to sell its baby food business in France.
  • The products concerned are NaturNes baby food jars, Babicao and Babivanille infant powders, and the P'tit yogurt range.
  • These products are produced at the Arches plant.
  • Worldwide sales of Nestlé infant formulas rose by more than 10%.
Nestlé France sells its baby food products to Mousline - 02/02/2024
  • Nestlé is in exclusive negotiations with French investment fund FnB for the sale of its baby food business.
  • The ranges concerned are soups, purées, desserts and breakfast powders under the NaturNes, Babicao, Babivanille brands and the P'tit franchise.
  • Infant milks, the bulk of the portfolio - with Laboratoires Guigoz and Nestlé Nidal - remain within the Nestlé France fold.
  • The infant nutrition products targeted by this sale are produced in a factory in the Vosges region of France, which employs 230 people.
  • FnB, the potential buyer, specializes in supporting French SMEs in the food industry.
  • The infant food market in France shrank by 6% in volume last year due to the drop in the birth rate, with a sharper decline in milks than in diversification foods.
  • Nestlé has 14 factories in France.
Ecotone invests in Gironde to triple organic coffee production - 24/11/2023
  • The Ecotone group has achieved sales of 690 million euros in 2022.
  • The burn plant inaugurated by Ecotone and Destination Bio covers more than 9,000 square meters and employs 60 people.
  • Investment in the new Destination Bio site amounts to 10 million euros.
  • The plant's production capacity is 3,500 tonnes per year
  • Destination Bio's market share in the organic coffee sector is 46%.
  • Destination Bio's sales total 21 million euros, rising to 50 million euros if sales under other brands are included.
  • Organic coffee sales represent 5% of a French market worth over 3 billion euros.
  • Organic coffee sales increased by 13% in value in 2023. Sales of fair-trade coffee and tea account for 60% of Destination Bio's sales, with a target of 70% of sales over the next 2 years.
Distribution: Biocoop capitalizes on its pricing strategy | Biocoop: a winning pricing strategy - 25/10/2023
  • Biocoop's sales represent 43.8% of the market for specialist organic stores.
  • Eight new Biocoop outlets have opened since the beginning of the year. Source: Circana.

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. :

Ecotone Groupe (Alter Eco, Bjorg, Bonneterre)
Jardin Bio (Léa Nature)
Cémoi (Sweet Products)
La vie Claire
Lindt & Sprungli
Jean Louis Boyère Vijaya
Vahiné (McCormic France)

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