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1. Food trends in France in the coming years

Organic products: Naturalness, for a large part of consumers, means an absence of “chemical product”. In fact, consumers pay attention to the composition of food and prefer those without artificial elements (preservatives, additives, artificial colors, etc.). They also seek to avoid products derived from biotechnology or the use of pesticides in agriculture. The global organic food market is booming, in 2017 the International Federation of Organic Agriculture (Ifoam) estimated the market at 90 billion euros, against around 11 billion in 1999 (X9). A market that could reach 320 billion dollars in 2025.

Prêt à manger: The urban way of life and the growing demand for speed in modern society have restricted the time that French people could spend on buying and preparing meals. They long for more leisure time and are looking for convenience. Therefore, there is a growing demand of the consumption of fast food (ready meals, sandwiches, etc.)

More transparency on products compositions : French consumers have developed a certain mistrust of standardized products. They are looking for more transparency about the origin, composition, nutritional value and production conditions of the products they buy.

New experiences linked to globalization: French people are attached to their gastronomic heritage but do not miss an opportunity to enjoy the best of other culinary cultures. This perpetual search for “eating well” truly defines them.

Also, the increase in cultural exchanges and information tends to develop this openness to the outside world, especially for the younger generations who are looking, in addition to innovative products, for foodstuffs that are respectful of those who produced or developed them.

62% of consumers like to discover new products according to Grand view Research.

Less food waste: More and more consumers are getting involved in the fight against food waste for various reasons – economic, environmental and societal. This generates changes in consumption patterns but also in production methods since all stakeholders in the food chains are concerned by the subject.

Food, health and well-being: Due to health crises and the dissemination of public health messages, French consumers have become aware of the link between their food, their health and their well-being. Some consumers thus seek through food to reduce the risk of diseases and/or improve their performance (physical, intellectual).

Decrease in the consumption of animal proteins: The consumption of animal proteins is decreasing in France. For very varied reasons (nutritional messages from the early 1980s, high cost, food scandals, ideology, evolution of the Human-Animal relationship, environmental considerations, etc.), consumers are aware of the search for alternative sources of protein.

Strategic consumer: Confronted with very strong budgetary constraints, consumers seek to take advantage of good deals and low prices, while continuing to have fun. On the question of price, the internet and e-comparators have quickly become decisive in the search for the best quality-price ratio, just like advertising prospectuses in the past.

The “without” or “less” trend: Consumers are moving towards products with lower sugar content and less towards “processed” products such as processed fruit juices. 

Health and fiber: Consumers are increasingly aware of what they consume for health reasons. In order to maintain the intestinal flora (microbiota), products based on probiotics (food supplement for intestinal balance) and prebiotic fibers are increasingly preferred.

Snacking: Food categories are tending to “snack” and the food industry is developing solutions with convenient take-out formats. Millennials (generation of people born between 1980 and 2000) are the main people interested in snacking: 63% of them snack to skip a meal because of lack of time according to Innova Market Insights research.

Towards the end of plastic and packaging: Consumers are now taking a green approach. In addition to the desire to reduce the use of plastic, consumers want to reduce their waste and recover bio-waste and make increasing use of new recycling, biodegradability and composting technologies.

2. Opportunities for Agricultural products in France

France imports 20% of its food. Nearly 1/2 fruit or vegetable consumed in France is imported, as 25% of pork or 34% of poultry.

In the Agri-food sector, France imports from Vietnam (2019) :
• Coffee, tea, maté, spices : $ 76.65M
• Fish, crustaceans, mollusks: $ 74.99M
• Fruits, nuts, citrus peels, melons: $ 68.34M
• Meat, fish and seafood: $ 32.24M
• Flour, starch and dairy products: $ 25.98
• Cereals: $ 10.54M

During the next few years, Vietnam is expected to continue its benefits from relocations and investment diversification through its membership in various global and regional FTAs, including the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) which come into effect on August 1, 2020. This agreement makes Vietnam the second country in Southeast Asia to have concluded a trade treaty with the European Union, after Singapore. Regarding trade, EVFTA could increase Vietnam’s exports to the European Union by 42.7% in 2025 and 44.37% in 2030.

The agricultural sector, one of the big winners of EVFTA.
The EVFTA allows simplification of red tape, reduction of legal barriers, but also tariff elimination up to 99% on both sides. This elimination will be done gradually.

Importing products:
71% of tariffs will disappear when the agreement come into effect. The remaining tariffs will have to be removed within seven years. Vietnam will benefit from new duty-free export quotas for the following products: rice, eggs, sugar, ethanol, mushrooms.

The EVFTA is an ambitious project. Signed with the second largest economic partner in Southeast Asia, it should allow a significant increase in trade (29% of exports and 18% of additional imports). 8 billion euros in export gains are expected and 15 billion euros in imports by 2035.

The partnership between the EU and the Socialist Republic does not end there. An investment agreement (EVIPA) should soon enter into force. These agreements (EVIPA and EVFTA) also provide for the opening up of public contracts and service markets (examples: banks, transport, etc.) to European companies.

EVFTA and EVIPA mark a turning point in the trade relationship between the EU and Vietnam.