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Survey: French consumers embracing healthfulness and variety in dining and snacking

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New study from Culinary Visions Panel reveals French consumers have high and varied expectations for healthy dining and snacking

A new report into French consumer dining published by Culinary Visions Panel in its 2017 series of Global Dining Studies has revoked that French consumers are actively seeking dining and snacking healthier options and are seeking out greater variety. In tandem with the SIAL Innovation Conference in Paris, France, research firm Culinary Visions Panel surveyed over 1,000 French consumers about their attitudes and behaviours relating to meal choices at home, in the workplace and in restaurants. The study finds that French consumers have high and varied dining expectations when it comes to healthfulness, such as desiring healthier snack options as well as dining choices that are both healthy and delicious.

“While French consumers are very interested in healthy meal options, their dining expectations vary with each situation,” says Sharon Olson, executive director of Culinary Visions Panel. “We learned that many of French consumers’ dining priorities centre around healthy eating and a majority are willing to pay a premium for quality ingredients in restaurants, delis and supermarkets.”

There are several major takeaways from the 2017 study on French consumers’ attitudes towards dining. The first is French consumers’ desire for healthfulness in dining choices. 58% of the consumers surveyed believe that healthfulness is important in everyday dining. However this doesn’t mean consumers will automatically accept all food with healthy claims. 44% of the French consumers surveyed believe that items billed as “healthy” usually don’t taste great and 50% stated a desire to order food that is both healthy and delicious.

In the balance

The survey also found that French consumers adjusted their expectations for healthy foods in the context of whether they were eating at restaurants, work or at home. 49% of the consumers surveyed admitted they prefer restaurants that offer a balance of healthful and indulgent items while 61% of them said that when they are at restaurants, they tend to indulge in foods they enjoy. However, when shopping for food at home or for work, 47% of French consumers surveyed believe that the deli is a great place for healthy and delicious foods. At work, quick and easy drives 48% of French consumers’ choices when eating.

Given their high emphasis on healthy eating, French consumers are greatly interested in the quality of food ingredients. 58% of the consumers surveyed said they care about the quality and pay attention to food ingredients. 56% of them also said they are willing to pay more for better quality foods.

Another high expectation from French consumers is food trust. Trust of chefs, restaurants, supermarkets and delis is important to consumers in France. 71% of those surveyed felt it was important they trust restaurants to purchase high quality ingredients and 74% of them felt it was important they trust their local deli to purchase quality ingredients.

Besides healthfulness in everyday dining, French consumers have a great interest in global and ethnic foods. 57% of the consumers surveyed said they often have a taste for authentic international cuisine but have no time to prepare them at home. 45% of those surveyed also added that they believed that the deli or prepared foods section gives them an opportunity to try new foods they would not be able to prepare at home.

Healthy snacking

Finally, the study highlighted French consumers’ desire for more snacking options. 68% of the consumers surveyed wished for more healthy snacking options and 52% of those surveyed said they like taking a break in the middle of their day to get a treat or snack. 48% of the consumers surveyed said they do think of the supermarket deli as a place grab a meal or snack. Snacking seems to most dominate in workplace settings where 65% of the consumers surveyed said they prefer to bring something (a meal or snack) from home when at work.

The 2017 Global Dining Survey of France shows market opportunities for healthy, global and snacking foods. It also reveals that the French consumer is not tied down to one type of food trend. French consumers’ interest in healthy and delicious foods is not in conflict with their desire for indulgent foods. Their dining choices depend on the context of each meal situation.

 

About the Survey

Culinary Visions Panel’s latest consumer dining study Global Dining Survey 2017: France was released in May 2017 and explores France’s consumer dining preferences. Over 1,000 French consumers were surveyed about their attitudes and behaviours related to meal choices at home, in the workplace and at restaurants. Topics included healthfulness, food trust, quality ingredients and snacking. To purchase a complete copy of the report contact info@culinaryvisions.org.

About Culinary Visions Panel
Culinary Visions Panel is a research and trend forecasting firm that conducts surveys in more than 30 countries, exploring a wide range of culinary topics with food industry professionals and consumers. The Culinary Visions Panel is a division of Olson Communications (www.olsoncom.com), which is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, US. For more information on Culinary Visions Panel, visit culinaryvisions.org or email info@culinaryvisions.org.

Picture: Culinary Visions Panel