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Food supplements and functional foods in France - statistics & facts

Science is researching the concept of "optimal" food, encouraged by consumers’ rising concerns about the state of their health. Riding this wave, many food companies’ marketing campaigns now center around nutrition, and more and more innovative food products and supplements are emerging around the world. These are designed to improve physical and psychological wellbeing, reduce the risks of certain health problems, and possibly prevent illness. While this phenomenon is still rather recent in Europe, in Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea, for example, people are more familiar with these products and often use them to maintain their health.

Dietary supplements provide vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in concentrated form, and, as their name suggests, their purpose is to supplement the regular diet. To ensure the safety of their use and that enough information is given to consumers, French health officials regulate these products rigorously. Guidelines are indeed rather necessary as this market continues to grow yearly.
This success is also a reality in France. Nowadays, less than half of the French population has never tried dietary supplements, and it is women who make up the largest share of consumers. The use of supplements, in general, is a rather seasonal occurrence: during winter, or periods of fatigue for instance. French consumers put forward strengthening one’s immune system as the first motivation for their consumption of such products.
In terms of retail, however, the highest-selling products are related to digestion and digestive issues, followed by sleep/stress, and vitality. French people buy these products mostly in pharmacies, even though internet purchases are rising. In fact, sales are increasing in general, with the market reaching almost two billion euros in 2019, and the market for functional foods appears to be following the same upward trend.
With the coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic disrupting the daily lives of people around the world, an emphasized focus is being put on health, and how to maintain it, which in turn could lead to further interest in functional foods and dietary supplements.

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Dietary supplements and functional foods in France

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