Researcher OpinionWay and Casino Group's 3W.relevanC have analyzed the phenomenon of veganism in France and its impact on shopping behavior and found that more French people could become vegan, while the rate of flexitarians increased in one year from 23 percent to 28 percent.

The analysis combines different sources of data: conversations on social networks (web listening), an online survey conducted with a representative sample of 2,004 French people, and cardholders of the Casino Group's banners (Géant, Casino, Franprix, Monoprix). It included products that are Vegan-labelled, plant products, products called vegan, veggie and vegetal, and vegan-compatible beauty brands.

Main findings of the study, released on October 29 are:

The vegan population remains a minority in France (~ 1 percent). But this minority is very active on social networks both to exchange advice and defend their cause and is gaining momentum on the web and in real life.

More French people declare that they could become vegan but especially the rate of flexitarians (people who, without giving up, reduce their consumption of meat and fish). This rise in flexitarianism (above) seems to be multifactorial: a particular sensitivity for vegan discourse, a search for meat quality (consume less but better), a search for healthy consumption, concern for the environment.

To meet the flexitarian aspirations of a growing number of French people, 100 percent vegetable products are flourishing in large and medium food stores. The 'veggie' market jumped by 40 percent in value in one year, while 60 percent of the households bought a veggie product during the last 12 months.

Among regular consumers (more than one basket out of three with a veggie product), representing five percent of the households, four types of buyers emerge and bring growth to this market:

  • The 'Family quality seekers': Families living mostly in the province. They continue to consume meat but buy less and prioritize food quality over quantity.
  • Healthy elders: Older (55 years old and over), living in the province, they are above all in search of a healthy diet and very regular buyers of veggie products (70 percent of their baskets contain at least one veggie product).
  • The Young Veggie Oriented: young (-35 years old), childless, rather Parisian households, they have made the choice to reduce their consumption of meat. More smoothies than sodas, they are ready to make sacrifices to offer products in line with their lifestyle.
  • 'Veggie Engels': Young, single and Parisian, they get closer to vegans. Their basket reflects a lifestyle choice that limits animal products as much as possible. 'Veggie' products account for nearly 20 percent of their expenses in hypermarkets and supermarkets.

If they have very different lifestyles and purchasing behaviors, for all, organic is a major criterion in the choice of their products.

"In conclusion, the veggie market is now a real opportunity for brands: to recruit new buyers from young people very eager to these products, to retain some of their customers, to increase the shopping basket of consumers who scant spending on products in line with their consumption patterns," the report said.

Adrien Vincent, CEO 3W.relevanC: "Thanks to its 30 million activable profiles, 3W.relevanC enables brands to address these 'veggie friendly' consumers on the digital side and to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns on sales at the store. "

Philippe Le Magueresse, DGA OpinionWay: "To understand complex phenomena such as veganism, OpinionWay is expanding data sources to help its customers better understand these phenomena and to be able to make the right decisions for their brands."