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Consumer Profile | Marketing Opportunities

Consumer Profile

Growing Sectors
Computer services, software, travel and tourism, safety/security equipment, computers and peripherals, telecommunications, books and magazines, automobile parts, cosmetics, education services, textiles and BtoC e-commerce.
Consumer Behavior
Traditionally, price has been an essential element in the French consumer's buying process. However, quality is becoming more and more important for the French consumer who is now tending to favor products which have a quality label or mark. The quality of after-sales service is a decisive element in choosing where to buy.
Consumer Profile and Purchasing Power
France is a country where buying most often equals pleasure. France is famous for its high consumption of leisure and culture products and gifts. The French consumer is impulsive and makes frequent purchases. As regards foodstuffs, the French are more likely to buy domestic products.
Consumer Recourse to Credit
Every year, around 50% of French people have recoursed to consumer credit. Young people use this type of financing much more than people over 65.
Consumers Associations
The French Consumer Institute
UFC Que Choisir , The Federal Union of Consumers
ECC , The European Consumer Centre in France
The French Consumer Association
 

Population in Figures

Population (millions):
64,895,000
Urban Population:
77.8%
Rural Population:
22.2%
Density of Population:
118 Inhab./km²
Men (in %)
48.6%
Women (in %)
51.3%
Annual Growth Rate of the Population:
0.55%
Medium Age:
38.9
Ethnic Origins of the Population:
A mix of Celtic and Latin peoples with North African, African and Asian minorities.
 

Population of main cities including suburbs

Name Population
Paris 11,598,866
Lyon 6,065,959
Marseille 4,864,015
Lille 4,021,676
Nantes 3,482,594
Bordeaux 3,150,890
Rennes 3,120,288
Toulouse 2,810,559

Source: Citypopulation.de , 2009 - Last Available Data.

 

Age of the Population

Life Expectancy in Years
Men:
78.1
Women:
85.1

Source: World Bank, last available data. , 2009 - Last Available Data.

 
Distribution of the Population By Age Bracket in %
Under 5:
6.1 %
6 to 14:
12.3 %
16 to 24:
12.2 %
25 to 69:
56.6 %
Over 70:
12.9 %
Over 80:
5.5 %

Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, Prospects 2010 - Last Available Data.

 

Household Composition

Total Number of Households (in million)** 23.8
Average Size of the Households** 2.5 Persons
Percent of Households of 1 Person** 31.0%
Percent of Households of 2 Persons** 31.1%
Percent of Households of 3 or 4 Persons** 29.9%
Percent of Households of 5 Persons and More** 7.9%

Source: ** Trends in Europe and North America, The statistical yearbook of the Economic Commission for Europe 2008, UNECE. , 2008 - Last Available Data.

 

Consumption Expenditure

Purchasing Power Parity 2009 2010 2011 2012 (e) 2013 (e)
Purchasing Power Parity (Local Currency Unit per USD) 0.91 0.91 0.90 0.91 0.92

Definition: Purchasing Power Parity is the Number of Units of a Country's Currency Required to Buy the Same Amounts of Goods and Services in the Domestic Market as USD Would Buy in the United States.

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
Household Final Consumption Expenditure 2008 2009 2010
Household Final Consumption Expenditure
(Million USD, Constant Price 2000)
865,446 866,946 878,777
Household Final Consumption Expenditure
(Annual Growth, %)
0.2 0.2 1.4
Household Final Consumption Expenditure per Capita
(USD, Constant Price 2000)
13,483 13,432 13,542
Household Final Consumption Expenditure
(% of GDP)
56.9 58.0 58.2

Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.

 
Consumption Expenditure By Product Category as % of Total Expenditure 2009
Food and non-alcoholic beverages 10.4%
Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics 2.2%
Clothing and footwear 3.3%
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels 19.7%
Furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house 4.5%
Health 2.9%
Transport 10.9%
Communication 2.1%
Recreation and culture 7.0%
Education 0.7%
Restaurants and hotels 4.7%
Miscellaneous goods and services 8.7%

Source: INSEE (French Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies) , Last Available Data

 

Household Equipment

Main Consumer Durables as % of Households Owning Them 2008
Refrigerator with or without freezer 99.8%
Freezer with or without refrigerator 86.1%
Microwave oven 83.7%
Washing machine 94.2%
Dishwasher 48.8%
Color television 97.1%
VCR 83.3%
Telephone land line 88.1%
Mobile phone 78.9%
PC (including laptop) 62.8%
Internet 54.7%
Car 81.2%

Source: Insee (French Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies), permanent survey of living conditions , Last Available Data

 
Information Technology and Communication Equipment, per 100 Inhabitants 2009
Telephone Subscribers 149.9
Main Telephone Lines 56.4
Cellular mobile subscribers 93.5
Internet Users 51.2
PCs 65.2

Source: International Telecommunication Union , Last Available Data

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Marketing Opportunities

 

Media in Which to Advertise

Television
Television advertising has great a influence on the behavior of French consumers. Showing an advertisement during sports events on TV early in the evening will reach the biggest numbers of viewers.

Main Televisions
Groupe Canal+
Groupe France Télévisions
M6 Groupe
Groupe TF1
Press
Advertising published in newspapers helps the consumer make his decision about buying and informs him of special offers. It is influential because the reader can respond to it in his own time.

Main Newspapers
Hachette Filipacchi
Prisma Presse
Mondadori France (formely Emap/Éditions Excelsior)
Groupe Bayard
Mail
Even if some people are resistant to it, most consumers read it and refer to it for their purchases. More than just advertising a product, the information received in letter boxes advertises the special offers in nearby stores.
In Transportation Venues
Already found on street billboards, at bus stops and in metro or railway stations, advertisements are now appearing more and more on the actual modes of transport (private cars, buses, trains, airplanes).

Market Leaders:
Avenir JC Decaux
Movinpub
Radio
Radio advertising makes it possible to reach a very wide audience. It is broadcast above all on local radio stations and promotes nearby stores.

Main Radios
Groupe Lagardère Active
Radio France
RTL
NRJ
New Technologies (E-Marketing, SMS, etc.)
France has more than 30 million internet users. Advertising appears directly on websites; advertising by e-mail is growing but tends to get lost in the mass of spam received.
M-marketing (advertising by mobile phone) remains limited. Telemarketing has grown, but it is more considered as something which disturbs the peace and quiet of the home than as a service.


Market Leaders:
Publicis Dialog
Microsoft Advertising
La Chose Agency
Main Advertising Agencies
Publicis Groupe SA
Havas
Saatchi & Saatchi
 

Main Principles of Advertising Regulations

Beverages/Alcohol
The Evin Law of 1991 regulates advertising of alcohol. It is limited to the point of sale, the written press for adults and the radio at certain times. The warning "Alcohol abuse is seriously dangerous for your health" must appear clearly.
Cigarettes
Tobacco advertising is prohibited according to an E.U directive and the Evin law of 1991 .
Pharmaceuticals/Drugs
Advertising for medicine is regulated by the European Union Directive 2001/83/EC and the Public Health Code . It is prohibited for products only available on prescription.
Other Rules
Article L.121-1 of the Consumer Code prohibits all misleading advertising that could potentially deceive the consumer. Articles L121-8 and L121-9 of the Consumer Code authorize comparative advertising but regulate it very strictly.
Use of Foreign Languages in Advertisement
There must be a translation in French, however unobtrusive, of any expression or sentence written in another language. Since August 1994 the Loi Toubon requires that all advertising, labeling, instructions and promotional programs be in French.
Organizations Regulating Advertising
The Higher Council for Radio and Television
The Bureau for Control of Advertising
The National Commission for Data Processing and freedoms
The Directorate for media development

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Last Updates: July 2012

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