Summary of our market study

In 2020, the global parapharmaceutical market, which includes over-the-counter care and hygiene products, beauty products, dietetics and nutrition, among others, saw its international trade decline as a result of the pandemic, with imports of 678.9 million USD and exports of 600.2 million USD to France. France mainly imports pharmaceutical products from the Netherlands (17.2%), Germany (14.6%) and Belgium (10.7%), while its main export destinations are Spain (16%) and Italy (10.2%). Despite the challenges, the online parapharmacy space has been remarkable, with only 2.3% of French pharmacies operating online platforms. The European market remains heterogeneous, with an average of 3,275 inhabitants per pharmacy, where countries like Greece and Cyprus have the densest ratios.

The French market reached over 5 billion euros, with growth segments such as personal hygiene (+2.3% in value) and childcare (+3.7% in value). However, categories such as hair care (-4.3% in value) experienced a decline. In France, the Ile-de-France region boasts the largest number of companies in this field. Regulations such as European Union Directive 2002/46/EC continue to shape the market, emphasizing consumer protection and transparency...

Evolving consumer trends in modern parapharmacy

In the contemporary parapharmacy market, consumers are showing a particular penchant for specialized beauty and wellness products, signalling a broader trend that encompasses both aesthetics and health. In France, the importance of this trend is underlined by the notable increase in consumption of parapharmaceutical products. A striking majority, over 80%, use these products, reflecting habits deeply rooted in daily routines. In particular, facial care products form a significant part of this trend, with around 90% of French women claiming to use them, an amalgam of those who currently use these products and those who have done so at one time or another. Buying preferences vary, with many women preferring shopping malls and hypermarkets, which account for around a third of parapharmacy customers each.

A smaller fraction, between 15% and 20%, opt for independent establishments to meet their needs. Among the diverse range of products, baby products stand out for their frequent purchasing habits, with around a third of consumers making monthly purchases, while suncare products show a markedly different trend, with more than half of customers limiting their purchases to an annual routine. In this panorama of consumption and purchasing behavior, the exponential growth and diversification of the parapharmacy sector remains evident. With a compound annual growth rate of over 5%, the French market is showing robust expansion, a sign of a healthy and dynamic economic segment. These trends offer a glimpse into the cultural and economic fabric of France, highlighting a society where personal care, beauty and well-being are intimately linked to consumer habits and market vitality.

Key market players shaping the parapharmacy landscape

The parapharmacy market is a dynamic arena characterized by a multitude of major players covering different sectors such as manufacturing, retail and new emerging companies tackling e-commerce. These players make a significant contribution to the evolution and growth of this market, responding to the diverse needs of consumers in terms of personal care, beauty, dermocosmetics, organic products and so on.

  • L'Oréal stands out as a leader in the manufacturing segment, particularly for its wide range of skin care, make-up and hair care products. The company's success is due in part to its strong R&D, which focuses on product innovation and quality, enabling it to meet growing consumer demand for high-end parapharmaceutical products.
  • Nestlé, through its Nestlé Skin Health division, has made a significant impact in the dermatological parapharmaceutical sector. Its products are designed to promote healthy skin and treat a wide range of skin conditions. Nestlé's strategic moves reflect its desire to expand and consolidate its position in the parapharmaceutical markets.
  • Johnson & Johnson is another dominant force to be reckoned with in this market, with an extensive portfolio that includes products for baby care, skin and hair care, nutrition and OTC pharmaceuticals. Its global presence and well-established brands meet the needs of consumers and healthcare professionals alike.
  • Carrefour, Auchan, Intermarché and Leclerc play a key role as leading distributors of parapharmaceutical products. Carrefour, for example, offers a wide range of personal care products in its hypermarkets and supermarkets, making them easily accessible to consumers. Mercadona takes a similar approach, committing itself to the efficient distribution of a wide selection of parapharmaceutical items across its extensive network of stores.
  • Sephora and Amazon have become notable competitors. Sephora, primarily known for its range of beauty products, is increasingly present online, improving consumer access to a variety of parapharmaceutical products. Amazon's foray into the market is disrupting traditional retail dynamics, providing a formidable platform for the sale and distribution of a vast assortment of parapharmaceutical products, including both established and new brands.

The presence and positioning of these market players reflect the ever-changing landscape of the parapharmacy sector. Through their strategic operations and offerings, they continue to shape consumer preferences and make a significant contribution to the health, beauty and wellness sector.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market summary

1.1 Presentation and definition of the parapharmacy market

The parapharmacy market includes all sales of care and hygiene products (for adults and babies), but also many types of products that do not require a medical prescription, such as beauty, diet and nutrition products, sun care products, hair care products, etc.

The parapharmaceutical market has evolved considerably since its emergence in the 1980s and the consumption of para pharmaceutical products has become more widespread by opening up to all distribution methods: pharmacies, specialist retailers, parapharmacies, mass retailers, and online sales.

This evolution is accompanied by an extension of the offer towards new territories of beauty. The parapharmacy market is growing rapidly in France, driven on one hand by the growing importance given to appearance and personal care, and on the other hand by the growing attention towards the quality of the care used (in cosmetics in particular), leading to a premiumization of consumption and valorization of the market.

The production in the country is increasing, with the most important sector being, in sales terms, the body hygiene one, followed by the hair care one. In terms of growth, the sun department registered the highest numbers, with a 4.8% increase in value and a 3.1% increase in volume. 

However, the arrival of new entrants and the digital transformation of the sector create new challenges for the historical players in the market, giving product innovation an increasingly central role in corporate strategies. 

The main players include L'Oréal, Nestlé and Johnson&Johnson.

1.2 The European market

The European market is very diversified in terms of players present on the territory. In Europe, there are approximately ***.*** pharmacies. The countries with the most pharmacies are Turkey (***). 

France is right below the European average of *,***, with *,*** inhabitants per pharmacy.

Number of pharmacies per number of inhabitants in Europe Europe, ****, in ...

1.3 The French market

The French market for parapharmaceutical products reached more than * billion euros in ****, growing at a CAGR of approximately *,*% between **** and ****. [***]

National parapharmacy market France, ****-****, in billion $ CAGR: +*.*% Source: ****

Breakdown by types of products 

Quantity sold in the personal care products market France, ****, in million units Source: ****

However, within the French ...

1.4 Imports and exports

International trade

Regarding international trade, we consider the data provided by UN Comtrade for Commodity code **** « Pharmaceutical products ». 

As the graph below shows, imports and exports of pharmaceuticals products have been rising in the past few years, before experiencing a drop in **** caused by the pandemic crisis and its consequences on ...

1.5 Covid impact on the market

The COVID-** pandemic has had devastating effects on many markets and industries. Due to the nature of the virus (***) sanitary measures were put in place, the most significant of which were mandatory, government-mandated closures that kept people home and halted most economic activity.

Parapharmacies were one of the few sectors that ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 The consumption of beauty and well-being products in France

A large majority of parapharmaceutical products have a key role in the everyday life of customers: for instance, more than **% of French women use face care products (***). Most of the categories of parapharmaceutical products benefit from a strong usage rate, over **% in almost all cases.

Consumption of beaty, hygiene and well-being ...

2.2 Purchase behavior for parapharmaceutical products

When it comes to purchasing behavior of parapharmaceutical products, most of the customers shop in pharmacies/parapharmacies in a mall (***). Only **% of customers shop in an independent pharmacy/parapharmacy.

Preferred chanel for buying pharmaceutical products France, ****, in % Source: ****

  Purchase frequency of baby products in parapharmacy France, ****, in % Source : Arcane Research   Purchase ...

2.3 Demand trends : dermocosmetics and organic products


The dermocosmetics market is very much in vogue: worldwide, the dermocosmetics market has more than doubled over the last fifteen years. Western Europe accounts for the vast majority of this market with **% of the world value, and France is the *rd largest market behind Italy and Germany.

Pharmacies-parapharmacies play a ...

3 Market structure

3.1 A wide range of players

The distribution of pharmaceutical products in France is split between different types of players:

Pharmacies Parapharmacies Hypermarkets and supermarkets Pure-players

Market shares per type of player

Market share by channel France, ****, in % of the market value Source: ****

Pharmacies remain leaders in the distribution of parapharmaceutical products, with **% of the market value ...

3.2 Online parapharmacy

Since ****, the sale of non-prescription drugs on the internet has been authorized in France. However, to date, only *.*% of the **,*** French pharmacies have an online platform. With the explosion of investments by mass distribution in the online drugstore market, this is expected to change radically, and the changes are already ...

3.3 Companies and employees of the market

The range of activities linked to parapharmacies in France can be quite wide, as it goes from selling basic beauty products to selling OTC medicine. To capture these different activities, we can use the following categories for the national NAF classification:

**Z Retail sale of pharmaceutical products in specialized stores **Z : ...

3.4 Geographical distribution

The following map shows the distribution of the companies relevant in the field of parapharmacies in France. As we can see, the Southern regions register the highest numbers of companies, and that Île de France registers the highest number of all. On the contrary, North-Western regions have a significant lower presence ...

4 Analysis of the offer

4.1 A wide and diversified offer

The category of parapharmaceutical products includes a wide range of different types of products. Among the main sub-categories, we can find:

Makeup Body hygiene: shampoo, shower gel… Deodorants and antiperspirants Fragrances Oral care: toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash… Body care Nutritional products, among which food supplements Face care and treatments: these are often ...

4.2 Pricing within the category

Overall, the consumer price index for Hygiene, beauty and well-being products has been declining over the past few years: the index peaked at ***,** in ****, and reached ***,** in ****. It is interesting to note that this decrease in Consumer prices happened despite an overall rise in the Production price index, growing from ***,** in ...

5 Rules and regulations

5.1 The regulatory framework for food supplements

The European Union has established a series of regulations, through Directive ****/**/CE whose objective is to protect the health of consumers and to ensure transparency of information communicated on food supplements. This directive defines food supplements as food items whose purpose is to supplement the daily diet, constituting a source of ...

5.2 The Cosmetic Regulation n°1223/2009 & REACH regulation

Regulation ****/****, known as the Cosmetics Regulation, is one of the main regulatory texts at the European level for the cosmetics market.

Designation of a responsible person

For each product placed on the market, companies must designate a Responsible Person (***). The Responsible Person can be the manufacturer, the importer if the manufacturer ...

Nomenclature and Harmonized System of World Customs

The Harmonized System is an international nomenclature for the classification of products. It allows participating countries to classify traded goods on a common basis for customs purposes. At the international level, the Harmonized System (***) for classifying goods is a six-digit code system. [***]

The HS comprises approximately *,*** article/product descriptions that appear ...

6 Positioning of the actors

6.1 Segmentation of market players

6.2 Les principales enseignes de parapharmacies

Ci-dessous est présenté les principales enseignes de parapharmacies (***) sont très présentes dans la distribution des produits de parapharmacie en points de vente physique. En effet, ces acteurs ont l'avantage de disposer à travers leur réseau d'enseigne de distribution alimentaire d'une implantation locale sur l'ensemble du territoire national, qu'ils ...

  • Parashop Diffusion
  • Nocibé (Douglas Groupe)
  • Weleda
  • Pharmavie
  • Giphar groupe
  • Elsie Santé
  • Lemoine Groupe
  • Sanofi Aventis
  • Pierre Fabre
  • Eau Thermale d'Avène (Pierre Fabre Groupe)
  • NAOS Bioderma
  • Pharmazon
  • Pharm Upp
  • Objectif Pharma
  • Mediprix
  • Hygie 31- Laf Santé
  • Docmorris DoctiPharma
  • Atida Santé Discount

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Consommation de produits d'hygiène, de beauté et de bien-être
  • Canaux privilégiés pour l'achat de produits pharmaceutiques
  • Fréquence d'achat de produits bébé en parapharmacie
  • Fréquence d'achat de produits solaires en parapharmacie
  • Parts de marché par type de distribution
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Latest news

Sanofi plans to spin off its Consumer Healthcare business in 2024 - 28/10/2023
  • Year of separate listing of Sanofi's Consumer Healthcare Division: 2024
  • Sanofi envisages savings of: up to 2 billion euros between 2024 and the end of 2025
  • Presence of Sanofi Consumer Healthcare Division: 150 countries, more than 11,000 employees
Sanofi to spin off its consumer healthcare division and float it on the stock market - 27/10/2023
  • Sanofi is a French pharmaceutical company
  • The Consumer Healthcare division has over 11,000 employees in 150 countries.
  • The demerger of Consumer Healthcare will take place in the fourth quarter of 2024 at the earliest.
  • This division accounts for just over 10% of Group sales.
  • In 2022, the Consumer Healthcare division generated 5.1 billion euros of Sanofi's 43 billion euros in sales.
  • The Consumer Healthcare division posted growth of 13.7% in 2022.
  • By 2021, the global consumer healthcare market will be worth over €180 billion.
  • The market share of Haleon, the world leader in consumer healthcare, is estimated at 6% in 2021.
  • The over-the-counter segment accounts for 90 billion euros, vitamins, minerals and supplements for 50 billion euros, and oral care for almost 30 billion euros.
  • Its Dupixent sales approach 11 billion euros in annual sales.
  • Beyfortus vaccine is currently marketed in 4 countries, including France.
Sanofi inaugurates Europe's largest vaccine plant at Val-de-Reuil - 07/09/2023
  • Sanofi's vaccine plant in Val-de-Reuil celebrated its 50th anniversary.
  • Sanofi has invested 250 million euros in two modernization/expansion projects at the plant, which employs 2,200 people.
  • It ships 600 million doses of vaccines worldwide every year.
  • Sanofi has set up a new influenza vaccine production unit, at a cost of 200 million euros.
  • Over the past ten years, Sanofi has invested 600 million euros in Val-de-Reuil.
  • Sanofi plans to double sales of its vaccines division between 2018 and 2030, to more than 10 billion euros a year.
Sanofi invests $250 million in flu vaccines in France | Sanofi invests $250 million in flu vaccines in France - 07/09/2023
  • Sanofi is the world's fourth-largest vaccines company
  • Sanofi invests 250 million euros in its Val-de-Reuil site, Europe's largest vaccine production facility
  • Sanofi has 11 vaccine plants
  • 50% of Sanofi's production is concentrated in influenza.
  • Sanofi increases influenza vaccine production capacity by 40%
  • Sanofi's Efluelda vaccine is recommended for the elderly and launched in 18 countries, including 11 where it has been recommended by health authorities.
  • Sanofi has invested over 600 million euros in its Val-de-Reuil site over the past ten years.
Médiprix expands its pharmacy chain - 04/08/2023
  • Médiprix recently raised 16 million euros to accelerate the development of its network.
  • The Médiprix platform modernizes the market for digital e-health solutions for pharmacies.
  • The Médiprix network currently comprises 220 pharmacies, and is expanding at a rate of 30 new pharmacies a year.
  • Médiprix, based in Montpellier, employs around fifteen people.
  • Médiprix sales, including Medilab's business, total 10 million euros.
  • The Medilab laboratory, owned by Médiprix, markets some 250 product references.
  • Médiprix derives its revenues from membership fees, digital subscriptions, its central referencing system, the sale of furniture and graphic services.
  • Médiprix is planning to set up a subsidiary in Spain.
Sanofi gains a foothold in the obesity market with biotech Adocia - 10/07/2023
  • Appetite suppressants derived from antidiabetics are an emerging market
  • . Industry giants such as American Lilly and Danish Novo Nordisk are already involved in this market.
  • Sanofi paid 10 million for the exclusive right to negotiate a worldwide partnership for Adocia's M1Pram rapid insulin.
  • Adocia's M1Pram rapid insulin is special in that it makes you lose weight instead of gaining it.
  • The potential market for appetite suppressants derived from antidiabetics is estimated at several tens of billions of dollars a year.
  • Sanofi is a specialist in type 1 diabetes, and M1Pram could benefit obese patients suffering from this type of diabetes - around 5% of type 2 diabetics.
  • Phase 2 clinical results for M1Pram showed exceptional weight loss with good glycemic control in overweight and obese type 1 diabetics.
  • The population that could benefit from M1Pram is estimated at nearly 40 million people worldwide, representing a potential market worth several billion dollars.

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. :

Parashop Diffusion
Nocibé (Douglas Groupe)
Giphar groupe
Elsie Santé
Lemoine Groupe
Sanofi Aventis
Pierre Fabre
Eau Thermale d'Avène (Pierre Fabre Groupe)
NAOS Bioderma

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