Organic products advertising and PR

Organic products advertising and PR

15 September 2016

1. Consumer trends and behaviour

1.1 The organic products market

A majority of consumers associate organic products with food products that are natural and healthy, of good quality and that do not present any risks to health, and that constitute a means of protecting planet. For one in three people surveyed media pressure made them make a full or partial switch to organic products, whereas only 25% mentioned a personal reason such as the arrival of a child. Almost all – 95% – of the panel believe that the organic trend will continue to grow, but only 19% of those questioned think that ultimately all products will be organic. More than just consumption, organic products have become a habit, something purchased and used automatically on a day-o-day basis. 

Negative comments about organic products:
  • The price of them is too expensive (this is the main complaint regarding them);
  • They are difficult to obtain;
  • The fashionable aspect of them, which has got out of control, and which industrial manufacturers are taking advantage of;
  • Organic products do not store as well (as conventional products) and they sometimes have a strange taste and texture (in particular as regards processed products).

Organic products are mainly associated with the substances themselves, and not with brands or labels. Only the label AB (which is short for "Agriculture Biologique" or organic agriculture) is quite well known, and all of the others appear to be quite vague in consumers' minds (see ). Some people even call into question the existence of these labels, since their view is that it is hard for small producers to obtain them.

1.2 Distribution networks
Purchases of organic products mainly take place in hypermarkets and in supermarkets (as regards 80% of consumers ).

The demand for organic products as regards out-of-home food service outlets is ever-growing on the part of French people.  A very significant majority – 78% – are interested by meals served in restaurants which incorporate organic products, versus 54% in 2013.  Seventy-six per cent in hospitals versus 62% in 2013. And 73% in retirement homes versus 58% in 2013.

Snack products

 Primeal: Gouda nibbles, crunchy tomato and basil snacks, mini-palmiers with black olives.

Jardin Bio: Lunchbox Mon Repas Nature Gourmand/Equilibre (natural treat/balanced meals); leek tart, Provençal tart.



3.1 The various products on the market

Ready meals

Organic ready meals are starting to appear in the fresh sector but also in the frozen food aisle.

One of the leaders in this segment is the Léa Nature group and its Jardin Bio ® brand, which features fresh products and preserved products (packaged in cans, jars, etc.).  Jardin Bio provides consumers with a broad range of ready meals: organic lentils façon petit salé (i.e. with salted pork), organic quinoa with thin slices of chicken and sesame seeds, chilli con carne, chicken and parmesan risotto, pizzas (Bolognese-sauce pizzas, ham, mushroom and olive pizzas, French country-style pizzas, etc.) and an oriental range (chicken nems, prawns, vegetables, Cantonese rice) etc., etc. 

Again, Priméal, Bjorg and own-brands (those of Carrefour and Leclerc), also have a good presence in the market.

Brands that are still little-known in France – such as Frima – are starting to appear in frozen food aisles. Frima has launched a range of dishes which employ organic ingredients. A simple idea but one to which not much space is devoted in the frozen food aisle. The first dishes put on sale are pizzas or else ready meals prepared using chicken, salmon or prawns as an ingredient. They are retailed in the Paris area in Leclerc and Auchan stores, and also by outlets which specialise in organic products, at a price of between €3.50 and €4.90.

And also the brand Amy's Kitchen, which produces food which is both organic and gluten-free and which has arrived in France in Picard shops (Picard specialises in frozen food).   Three items are going to be sold there: vegetable lasagne, macaroni and cheese and Chinese noodles and vegetables. All of the products are guaranteed to be kosher and lactose-free.



3. The market for organic value-added products

The market, including all channels, generated sales of €5.5 billion in 2015, a rise of 10% versus 2014. To recap, sales in the market in 2013 amounted to €4.556 billion, broken down between institutional and corporate catering (3.7%), direct sales (12.6%), craftspeople and traders (4.9%), retailers specialised in organic products (34%), and large food retailers (44.6%).

While sales of own brands are down as regards conventional products, 31% of consumers purchase own-brand organic products, and 32% purchase specific brands: Jardin Bio’, Priméal, 20% buy loose/bulk products, and 13% buy national brands in the shape of organic products made by Puget (olive oil and sauces), Knorr, Candia (dairy products), etc.

To still further energise the market, manufacturers and retailers must take the requirements of customers into account – i.e. cheaper, local items and seasonal items.


2. French people and their consumption of organic meat

In 2016, 70% of consumers purchase organic meat, which is up 11% year-on-year. More people are interested in purchasing organic products – 24% of consumers state that they purchase them when they can find them.

Organic meat appeals to the under-35s, even though they think that it is too expensive.  Intentions to consume organic meat are up – 30% more French people think that they will increase the frequency of their consumption of it in the coming months.
Mastery of its line of business...
Including organic meat!
With a constant focus on product quality and on supporting its clients in relation to trends and innovations, the meats processed by ActiMeat are of certified quality, and the origin of our products is rigorously monitored in order that they meet the requirements for "organic products".


1.3 Consumers and their requirements

Who purchased organic products in 2016?
  • 55% of the consumers of organic products are women;
  • 48.8 years old is the average age of consumers;
  • 40% do not work (31% are in the upper socio-professional category and 29% are in the lower socio-professional category);
  • 48% of the purchasers have children (48% do not have any);
  • 25% are in the South-East region of France (22% are in the North-West, 21% are in the Paris area, 21% are in the North-East and 11% are in the South-West);
  • 48% of the consumers of organic products take part in a weekly outdoor activity;
  • 44% take part in sports (in team or in individual sports) on a weekly basis.
The requirements of consumers are:
  • To pay less;
  • To get more local items;
  • To get more seasonal items (ref. Organics Cluster).

In addition, they want to have access to a broader product offering in hypermarkets and supermarkets (69% of those surveyed), in organic shops (24%), online (17%), and via "click and collect" services (known as drive services in France), according to Agence Bio. In the future, the frequency of purchases is expected to increase, since 27% of consumers plan to increase the amount of money they spend on organic products, 70% plan to spend the same amount, and 3% plan to spend less on them.


Products for babies 

Organic food is being ever-more eaten by babies. In a baby food market which has been struggling over the past few years, organic brands have been playing their cards right.  And they are not no longer hesitant about disrupting the codes of the category, both as regards product sizes and as regards recipes.
Organic items now account for 6.7% of the sales of baby milks and foods in France, in hypermarkets, supermarkets, discount outlets (Aldi, etc.) and via "click and collect" points of sale. And they are on an upward trend. The main players: Babybio made by Vitagermine, Hipp and Yodji.

4. Benefits for industrial manufacturers

Organic food but in conjunction with innovation. Increase visibility to make gains as regards credibility, to secure supplies, to prevent any incidents from occurring and to know how to handle them. Care is required, thus, since French people trust brands (82% of them), and a health incident would be devastating.  

"A increased frequency of product testing must be maintained, in order to prevent a dark scenario from coming to pass.  We can expect a concentration of players to take place, since the market is attracting financial and co-operative investors. The future will be characterised by growth, but possibly lower growth than in recent years", according to the Managing Director of La Vie Claire.

In the time being, growth is occurring right now and this is why ActiMeat is certified organic under the number A74865 by the certifying body Qualisud FRBIO-16.

A product catalogue has been compiled which details the breeds and origins that are ideally required by ActiMeat for all food and agricultural applications as regards value-added products which contain meat substances. Thus:
  • Our organic minced meats can be incorporated into many types of organic ready meals;
  • Our firm, which is French, provides products which meet the definition of products which are supplied by means of a "local" supply chain;
  • The geographical origins of our various meats are labelled on products: FR for France, VBF for beef with the Viande Bovine Françaiselabel which is also from France, IT for Italy, ES for Spain, etc.;
  • Our range of high-quality products provides industrial manufacturers who are clients of ActiMeat with the resources to innovate as regards value-added products which contain meat.  
Do not hesitate to query our Sales Department regarding a product offering and to ask for samples.