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The consequences of lockdown on the eating habits of French consumers

The consulting and audit firm PwC France and our french SEO agency  present the results of its study on the food consumption of the French during lockdown, carried out with Kantar at the beginning of April with a representative panel of more than 1,000 respondents, and highlights the first post-lockdown trends.

After the lockdown, the French want to prioritise local, responsible consumption and an improved digital experience, according to the consulting and auditing firm PwC France in partnership with Kantar.

The lockdown boost the food industry

The lockdown linked to Covid-19 has changed consumer behaviour with the rise of digitisation, particularly a first experience of online food shopping for a significant proportion of them. The study raises the question of the customer shopping experience and outlines the first post-lockdown consumption trends.

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According to the study, food superstores were in the front line for French people’s food purchases during the lockdown period with 75% of consumption (in-store or digital purchases – drive, e-commerce). This proportion drops to 68% (-7 points) when respondents are asked about their purchasing intentions once lockdown is over.

This drop can be explained in part by dysfunctions in the use of digital technology by major retailers. Indeed, among the French consumers questioned, 17% tried to get into drive-through and e-commerce but were unable to do so due to a lack of physical or technical accessibility – saturation of sites, abandonment of shopping baskets or orders, longer delivery times or incomplete shopping baskets, in a sanitary environment with stricter requirements.

This missed appointment benefits local producers and markets and to a lesser extent local shops which, after the lockdown, will be more solicited by consumers, unlike the big brands. After the lockdown, 6% of French people declare they want to shop directly with producers and 5% of French people want to buy their supplies on the markets.

An acceleration of consumer trends towards organic and local/responsible consumption

Asked about the selection criteria of their food distributors, 43% of French people say that the most important condition is price. However, in the face of this basic trend, two other criteria emerge: the production of the products in France (32%), and their healthy, and even organic, composition (20%), even if they pay more. The study also notes that at the end of the lockdown, 62% of consumers will turn to traders who have either suffered or worked positively during the lockdown.

This period of lockdown has accelerated the organic phenomenon and the strong interest of the French in local, healthy and quality production, trends that have marked consumer habits in recent years”. Brands and retailers are therefore encouraged to work on transparency in the composition of their products and the relocation of their supplies. Beyond that, the brands that will succeed best will be those that are able to strengthen their social and societal role.

Source : https://www.pwc.fr

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