France, a market full of opportunitiesBefore the COVID-19 epidemic in France, the national fitness market generated more than 2.5 billion euros in revenue. Despite the constant development between 2015 and 2019, France represented 9 percent of the European market share. Germany and the United Kingdom together accounted for 40 percent of the continental market.
There are many reasons for this gap between France and its German and British neighbors. For a long time, upscale and urban fitness clubs deprived themselves of a potential clientele because of expensive memberships. In 2006, Orange Bleue, the leader in the number of gyms in France, launched its low-cost fitness concept. By 2018, low-cost was taking over the largest number of fitness centers in France, since the operators with the largest number of gyms in France were low-cost companies.
The French leisure time was also occupied by other activities. Running and walking were the most practiced physical activities among men in France, fitness ranked fifth in 2018. Women, meanwhile, were much more attracted to fitness activities by comparison.
Sports nutrition and activewear in FranceDietetics and exercise are more and more connected in the sports world. Protein powders, far from being considered doping agents, are regarded as food supplements for gaining muscle mass and getting sufficient protein during intense physical activity. These products represented the largest market share of sports nutrition, ahead of energy drinks and bars. According to forecasts made in 2019, the French market for sports drinks will exceed 28 million U.S. dollars.
The sportswear market has also diversified in recent years. Reebok was one of the first sports multinationals to offer a range entirely dedicated to fitness in the early 2010s. In France, the majority of French women declared that they had an annual sportswear budget of no more than 75 euros.