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Face of French Cuisine Changing Towards Organic Fruits and Vegetables

Few countries tie in their national identity with their culinary history as closely as France. When you think of French cuisine, your mind probably focuses immediately on cheeses, wines and baguettes. That may need to change, however, as the organic movement picks up steam within the country.

Between 2012 and 2014, France led Europe in new organic fruit and vegetable products, with nearly a quarter of all new produce introduced carrying the organic claim, according to Mintel. This compares quite favorably to other European countries, including Germany (20%), Italy (8%) and the U.K (5%).

The drive for these organic products, according to Mintel, is two-sided. Food safety is one half of the equation, with two-thirds of surveyed consumers citing it as a concern. Younger consumers and households with children tend to be the most open to using organic fresh fruit and vegetables. In addition, about half of French consumers believe that organic products are better for the environment when compared to traditional produce.

The data suggests that there are opportunities to increase organic fruit and vegetable product uptake in France if marketers focus on younger consumers and households with children. Mintel believes those long-held cultural culinary traditions are evolving in France due to longer working hours, more women in the workplace and the growth of single-person households.

To meet these changing cultural norms, Mintel advises convenience above all else, as it plays a part in purchasing decisions for about half of French consumers when analyzing vegetable purchases. Frozen formats also grew by 10% during the time period, playing on the notion held by 50% of French consumers that frozen foods are just as nutritious as fresh.