Summary of our market study

The global vegetable seeds market, valued at $6.76 billion in 2020, is expected to reach $7.17 billion in 2021, with a growth rate of 6.78% from 2021 to 2028. The French market has been relatively stable, showing a slight increase from 746 million euros in the 2017/2018 season to 755 million euros in 2020/2021. France has established itself as one of the leading exporters of vegetable seeds, particularly within Europe, with Spain, Italy and the Netherlands being the leading importers.

The market is driven by population growth and the need to adapt agriculture to climate change. French exports of seeds, fruits and spores rose by 33.9% in 2021, making a significant contribution to the balance of trade. The sector is underpinned by substantial investment in research, funding for which has increased by 184%, from 37 million euros to 105 million euros in 2021. Employment in research has also risen by 58% in 2021.

The French market shows a preference for conventional commercial seeds, with a large proportion of the population using seeds from their own gardens for reseeding. Organic and hybrid seeds face adoption difficulties, mainly due to lack of information and perception of costs and benefits.

The market is highly regulated, requiring seeds to be listed in official catalogs, certified for commercial sale, and to comply with production and marketing rules.

The French appetite for market gardening: buying preferences and trends

As the world's population continues to grow, reaching 10 billion by 2050, demand for food production is predictably increasing. In France, this demographic trend, combined with the need to adapt agriculture to climate change, has become the main driver of growth in the vegetable seed market. It's clear that French consumers are increasingly interested in growing vegetables, with almost three quarters of them using seeds for their gardens. This trend is more pronounced among those with a large outdoor space or more than five years' gardening experience.

Interestingly, conventional and commercial seeds are the most frequently used, while seeds harvested for resowing in one's own garden account for a sizeable 25%. Among the different types of vegetables, green beans come out on top, with 92% of gardeners preferring to use seed, which is all the more remarkable given that 87% of green bean growers use seed exclusively. conversely, tomatoes are less often grown from seed, with only 38% of gardeners adopting this method.

In terms of purchasing habits, the majority of French seed buyers make their purchases on the eve of the sowing season, in physical stores. Specialized outlets such as garden centers and farm shops are frequented by 90% of seed buyers, demonstrating a clear preference for in-person purchases.

Online purchasing, on the other hand, is less popular, with only a small percentage of the population making frequent use of it. Despite their presence on the market, organic and hybrid seeds face considerable obstacles to widespread acceptance.

A large proportion of those surveyed, around 85%, do not opt for organic seed, price and lack of information being the main deterrents. Hybrid seeds face a similar situation, with 98% of survey participants turning away from them, mainly due to a lack of understanding. Understanding the nuances of the French market, in particular the habits and preferences of French consumers when it comes to vegetable seeds, is essential for players seeking to meet the needs of this segment.

The French vegetable seed market is indeed an active one, with trends showing a steady and growing interest in gardening that aligns with broader global demands for sustainable food production practices. which is an integral part of the global seed industry, is shaped by a number of influential players, each contributing to France's prominent position as one of Europe's leading seed exporters and consumers.

Among the main players,

  • Vilmorin & Cie stands out as the market leader, not only on a national scale, but also on a global one. As the seed subsidiary of the Limagrain cooperative, Vilmorin & Cie has successfully positioned itself against global giants such as Bayer-Monsanto and Syngenta.this testifies to Vilmorin & Cie's strategic focus and innovation in the niche markets of fennel, lamb's lettuce, spinach, chard and radish.
  • The Groupement national interprofessionnel des semences et plants(SEMAE), which supports the sector with essential data and market information, facilitating informed decision-making and growth, joins the upper echelon. SEMAE's mission is to dissect market dynamics and identify trends in national and international vegetable seed trade. They shed light on the number and types of organizations within the various segments, from breeders and growers to distributors, providing an overview of the market structure.
  • With regard to research and development, which form the backbone of genetic improvement and adaptation to challengesfis such as climate change, French organizations such as the Groupe d'étude et de contrôle des variétés et des semences (GEVES) play a crucial role. GEVES oversees DUS and VATE testing for new varieties before they can be registered in official catalogs - a prerequisite for their release onto the market.
  • The market is also driven by various grower associations, such as the Fédération Nationale des Agriculteurs Multiplicateurs de Semences(FNAMS), which closely follows the interests of seed growers, thus completing the spectrum of key players in the French vegetable seed industry.

Together, these entities create a market characterized by strong participation at different levels of the value chain and a commitment to quality and innovation, ensuring France's continued leadership of the global seed market.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and presentation

The vegetable seed market in France is a sector of the agricultural industry that studies the economic activity related to vegetable seeds. It is segmented by type of vegetable: among them are cabbage, melon, corn, eggplant, bell pepper, lettuce, carrot, watermelon, onion, and many others.

The global seed market has been estimated at over $40 billion by 2020. It is dominated by field seeds (86.3%), while vegetable seeds account for 1§.95% of the world market.

The French vegetable seed market is an important one: France has been exporting over 1.5 billion euros worth of seeds worldwide on average in recent years, and the sector makes a significant contribution to the country's balance of trade. By 2021, its top three export customers will be European: spain accounted for 19% of total exports, Italy 16%, the Netherlands 12%, and the top three were followed in fourth and fifth place by Mexico (5%) and Morocco (4%).

As a result, France is not only the world's leading export market, but also Europe's largest consumer of seeds.

The primary factor driving growth in the sector is the increase in the world's population, which is expected to reach almost 10 billion people by 2050. This means a constantly growing demand for agriculture and food production. The main market driver is therefore demographic growth, but we can also cite the adaptation of agricultural varieties to climate change. This is a strong argument in favor of seed companies, who are investing in R&D to adapt their offer.

The most powerful player on the market is France's Vilmorin & Cie, the seed subsidiary of the Limagrain cooperative. The company has established itself as the world leader in vegetable seeds, surpassing even the giants Bayer-Monsanto and Syngenta. It has recently positioned itself in the fennel, lamb's lettuce, spinach, chard and radish markets, strategically targeting niches for growth.

1.2 The global market

The global vegetable seed market has been estimated by Fortunebusinessinsights at $*.** billion in ****. According to Fortunebusinessinsights, this market should reach $*.** billion in ****, with an average annual growth rate of *.**% between **** and ****.

evolution of vegetable seed market size Worldwide, ****-****, in billions of dollars Source: ****

1.3 The domestic market

For several years now, the vegetable seed market seems to have been relatively stable. In fact, according to data from the Groupement national interprofessionnel des semences et plants (***), the market has been fairly stable over the past * years, with sales rising from *** million euros in ****/**** to *** million euros in ****/****, representing a ...

1.4 Foreign trade

In order to study French foreign trade in vegetable seeds, we will look at data relating to customs code ****, which covers: "Seeds, fruits and spores for sowing (***)"

evolution of exports of seeds, fruits and spores for sowing France, ****-****, in millions of euros Source: ****

The graph above shows that exports of ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 The French and demand for seeds

In October ****, the Kantar institute carried out a survey on the French and their vegetable gardens. This study reveals some highly relevant information about French demand for vegetable seeds. We learn, for example, that **% of French people surveyed use seeds for their vegetable garden, and that **% of them use seedlings.

The ...

2.2 Origin and place of purchase of seeds

The most popular way to buy seeds, according to the graph below, is in physical stores, with **% of respondents saying they go there "frequently ".Online purchasing is the least popular, with only **% of respondents using it, of which only *% frequently. It's interesting to note that many respondents save seeds or barter ...

2.3 Purchase frequency

Most survey respondents purchase their seeds and seedlings just before sowing/planting. However, some are forward-thinking, with **% buying at least a month before sowing/planting.

French people's seed and seedling purchasing period France, ****, in Source: ****

However, many respondents claim to buy seedlings during the season. In fact, **% of them use this ...

2.4 Organic and hybrid seeds: very little popularity

Organic and hybrid seeds are experiencing a cruel lack of popularity among the French population. Whether due to lack of information, price or mistrust, this type of seed does not meet with unanimous approval. First of all, we need to define what these seeds are:

Organic seeds: Organic seeds are seeds ...

2.5 What the French think of different florist chains

What the French think of different florist chains France, ****, in Source: ****

The graph reveals one particular feature of the French people's view of florists: with the exception of Interflora, most survey respondents are unaware of the brands on offer. Considering the number of consumers, it would seem strange that this should ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Value chain

The seeds and planting materials sector includes all private companies involved in the genetic improvement of cultivated plants and their distribution, from the creation of varieties to their use, via their development and marketing.ation of varieties to their use, via their development and marketing, as well as all seed farmer-multipliers ...

3.2 Market forces and players

SEMAE provides information on the strengths of the various businesses, with a focus on each sector, including vegetable seeds.

number of companies in the vegetable and flower seeds market, by role France, ****-****, in units Source: ****

The graphs above and below show data for breeders, producers and distributors of vegetable and ...

3.3 Vegetable seed research

An important part of the industry is research. The classic research approach is to improve certain characteristics of different seed species (***). This is a reductionist strategy that seeks to satisfy a precise need by selecting specific should be noted that, in the best of cases, it takes six years ...

3.4 Farm size and production

Surface area trends (***)

Standard seeds :

Source: ****

Certified seeds and seedlings :

Source: ****

The above tables show that the area cultivated to produce seeds has not grown steadily over the past five years. After a *.*% drop in the total area farmed between **** and ****, the latter has started to rise again, with a notable ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Vegetable seed supply

In order to give some examples of the seeds on offer, we will list in the table below what appears on the Jardiland website when you search for "vegetable seeds":

Source: ****

4.2 Price trends

change in the purchase price index for vegetable, flower and textile seeds France, ****-*****, base *** in **** Source: ****

As can be seen from the graph above, purchase prices for vegetable, flower and textile seeds are constantly evolving. They rose by **.*% between **** and ****. The first few months of **** show a more than notable ...

4.3 Changing costs for producers

The table below lists the various costs faced by vegetable seed growers:

Source: ****

These costs evolve over time, and the FNAMS keeps us informed of these changes. Unfortunately, there are no data more recent than ****. First of all, we can observe that labor costs seem to be increasing with a certain ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Regulations

Seed varieties must be registered in official EU and French catalogs

In order to market seed or seedlings of species listed at European and French level, varieties must be registered in official French or European catalogs of species and varieties. European catalogs (***) include national catalogs and therefore list all varieties authorized ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation

  • Truffaut
  • Mr. Bricolage
  • Castorama France (Kingfisher)
  • Leroy Merlin France (Adeo)
  • VillaVerde
  • Delbard (Teract groupe)
  • Carrefour Groupe
  • Intermarché ITM Les Mousquetaires
  • Graines Voltz
  • Limagrain Ingrédients
  • Les Pépinières Bravard
  • Deleplanque
  • Vilmorin (Groupe Limagrain)
  • Florimond Desprez
  • HM Clause France

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Trends in vegetable seed market size
  • Sales trends in the vegetable and flower seeds market (excluding vegetable and flower seedlings)
  • Total sales in the seed industry
  • Export of seeds, fruits and spores for sowing
  • Main countries importing French seeds, fruits and spores for sowing
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Latest news

Castorama revises its formula in France to boost sales - 28/03/2024
  • - Castorama sales down 4.8%.
  • - Brico Dépôt sales down 7%.
  • - Total sales in France down by almost 6%.
  • - Strategies: modernization of stores, reduction of floor space by 30%, transition to franchising, and transfer to the Brico Dépôt banner.
  • - By 2024-2025, 13 units will be specifically affected (2 franchised, 1 will become Brico Dépôt, 7 relaunched, and 3 reduced in size).
  • - 15% of Castorama and Brico Dépôt sales are generated by major works (kitchens, bathrooms) linked to moves.
  • - Introduction of Screwfix in France, with 23 current stores, planned to reach 15 more by 2024 and 600 in the long term.
Mr.Bricolage expected to decline in 2023 - 14/03/2024
  • Mr.Bricolage group sales in 2023: 2.31 billion euros
  • In France, 902 stores generated sales of 1.96 billion euros in 2023
  • Number of stores by brand in 2023:
    • - Mr.Bricolage: 331 stores
    • - Les Briconautes: 101 stores
    • - Independent chains: 470 stores
  • Total number of stores at January 1, 2024: 1088 stores
How Intermarché plans to transform 350 Casino stores - 09/01/2024
  • 3000 associate members
  • A total of 350 stores that have or will switch to the Intermarché and Netto banners
Intermarché Express to surpass 1 billion euros in sales with urban convenience stores in 2023 - 10/12/2023
  • Intermarché Express sales growth for 2023: +21.5%.
  • Sales: close to €1 billion by mid-November 2023, likely to exceed €1.1 billion over 12 months.
  • Number of Intermarché Express stores: 157
  • Anticipated expansion of the supermarket market in urban areas: from one-third to 50% by 2040.
  • Planned openings for 2024: 25 additional stores.
  • target for 2030: double the number of stores.
  • Market share of convenience channel over the last five years: +0.5 point.
  • Decline in hypermarket market share : -2.6 points.
  • Supermarket market share down : -0.8 points.
Intermarché opens up to franchising - 10/12/2023
  • Groupement Les Mousquetaires aims to generate 5% of its sales from franchises.
  • It already has 248 Rapid Pare-Brise and 13 Bricorama franchises.
  • Les Mousquetaires has 3,165 outlets in France.
  • They generated sales of 42.9 billion euros in 2022.
80 Carrefour hypermarkets operated under franchise or leasing agreements - 14/11/2023
  • On October 20, Carrefour announced its intention to switch 37 stores (comprising 15 hypermarkets and 21 supermarkets) to lease management.
  • Since 2018, 80 hypermarkets have left integrated status, representing around a third of all hypermarkets.
  • Around 75% of supermarkets (784 out of 1038) are currently leased or franchised.

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. :

Mr. Bricolage
Castorama France (Kingfisher)
Leroy Merlin France (Adeo)
Delbard (Teract groupe)
Carrefour Groupe
Intermarché ITM Les Mousquetaires
Graines Voltz
Limagrain Ingrédients
Les Pépinières Bravard

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