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COVID-19 Drives A Third Of French Consumers Towards Food Supplements

COVID-19 Drives A Third Of French Consumers Towards Food Supplements

Source : 'HBW Insight'

Over a third of French consumers have started to use food supplements and natural health products regularly to strengthen their immune system since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a recent survey by France’s food supplement industry association, Synadiet.

This pandemic-related awareness in France of preventative health measures – which also includes a focus on better nutrition and lifestyle habits – is an acceleration of existing trends, Synadiet noted.

In its survey of over 2,000 French people, carried out in two phases (in January and May this year) by OpinionWay, Synadiet found that 82% of consumers say they have changed their habits in the last 12 months in order to maintain their health and that of their loved ones.

“The health crisis has led many of us to step back, to review our priorities and to question ourselves in particular about our impact on the planet and our relationship to healthcare,” commented Dr Michel Tourrasse, a phytotherapist interviewed by the association as part of the research. “The crisis is a trend accelerator,” he added.

When it came to the reasons why people were increasingly turning to food supplements and natural health products, Synadiet discovered that “naturalness” was important for 41% of respondents.

A desire to avoid taking medication when it is not necessary was of similar importance (41%), the association reported, as was a desire for mild products with few adverse effects (26%).

Growth in online sales of food supplements and natural health products offset a decline in sales through other retail channels in 2019, according to Synadiet market data.

While online sales increased by 11% to €399m ($442m) last year, the association reported sales through parapharmacies – pharmacies located within other retail outlets – and specialized distribution channels down 4.5% to €112m and 4.4% to €189m respectively.

Solid growth in France’s largest food supplement retail channel, pharmacy, with sales increasing by 4% to €1bn ensured that the market expanded overall. Total sales of food supplements and natural health products lifted by 3% to €2bn in the 12 months.


Almost as if predicting the coronavirus, food supplement categories related to respiratory health and immunity achieved double digit growth through pharmacy in the year, at 15.3% to €60.1m and 13.5% to €36.3m respectively.

Reflecting wider trends, probiotic supplements were the fastest growing category of the year through pharmacy, with sales increasing by 18.9% to €10.4m. ("Scientific Evidence And E-Commerce Key To Seizing The Probiotic Opportunity" "HBW Insight" )

By David Ridley