According to a study published by the French research institute Xerfi, the sales of vegetarian and vegan products generated a revenue of 380 millions euros [437 million USD] last year in French large retail stores and supermarkets, which corresponds to a rise of 24%.
If this increase is comparable to the gluten-free market, it is still far from the growth in the sales of organic products. While there still is a cultural barrier for some of the French towards veganism. Flexitarianism on the other hand is gaining in popularity. According to Xerfi, vegetarians and vegans represent respectively only 2% of the French population (about 1.3 million people) and 0.5% (about 340,000 people), while flexitarians represent about a third of the population, so nearly 23 million people.
For the period 2019-2021, the vegetarian and vegan market in supermarkets should show a 17% increase yearly, which will exceed 600 million euros [690 million USD] within three years.
Major retailers, attracted by the potential growth of the vegetarian and vegan market, have been playing an important role, launching their first vegetarian product lines in 2015, such as “Carrefour Veggie”, followed by major manufacturers like Danone, Nestlé, or even Fleury Michon, in order to diversify their offer.
While it highlights the fact that the increase in the consumption of plant-based products is a “big trend”, the study published by Xerfi also points out that the alternatives to meat and milk proteins usually are “a short-lived craze”, and expects a gradual slowdown on the vegetarian and vegan food market beyond 2021.