15 March, 2021

French online grocery shopping trends reveal recipe for local success

Louise Taylor

The French online grocery shopping market is bursting with opportunity. Supermarkets E.Leclerc and Intermarché saw huge leaps in demand for their online services last year. Click and collect grew by 35% at E.Leclerc between 18 May and 14 June 2020. Online sales at Intermarché shot up by 80%.

The growth was not solely due to Covid. Connexion France reports that the rise in internet food shopping dates back to before the pandemic began.

Statista, meanwhile, shows that France’s grocery home delivery market had a turnover of €2 billion in 2017. That’s projected to quadruple to €8 billion by 2025.

Online food shopping in France highlights the need for localised experiences. Mark Rogers, VP of Growth at Northfork, explains:

“France’s recipe for online grocery retail success reflects the population’s deep relationship with food. There’s more to success than a great shopping experience. Retailers also need to provide access to local, artisan produce. They need to demonstrate their ethics. By not doing so, retailers are limiting their potential.”

Local online markets are growing in popularity. Locavor in the Loir-et-Cher department allows shoppers to purchase local food and collect it from the town hall. Drive Farmers, over in the Côte-d’Or department, does much the same for farm produce.

Ethics come into play too. McKinsey reports that around a quarter of French shoppers feel a brand’s values are important – and that sentiment is growing.

As Northfork has noted previously, customer-centric experiences are key to success. This is evident in Carrefour’s approach. Paulo Farroco, IT Director at Carrefour, recently highlighted the importance of “customer-centric processes and decisions” and “the empowerment of consumers who want options in how to do their shopping.” 

For French online grocery retailers, the opportunity is huge. McKinsey reports that just 13-16% of French shoppers are very satisfied with their online grocery. A values-led retailer offering a customer-centric service, with the option to buy local, artisan produce as well as mass-produced items, could take France by storm.

About the author

Louise Taylor

Louise is Northfork’s editor and is passionate about all things food.