For France, sugar, chocolate, and gum confectionery sales were valued at $7.6 billion in 2011.
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY
USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
GAIN Report Number: FR9609
Sugar Chocolate and Gum Confectionery Markets
Laurent J. Journo
For France, sugar, chocolate, and gum confectionery sales were valued at $7.6 billion in 2011.
Currently, Cadbury France SA leads the sugar confectionary and gum markets, while Ferrero France SA
dominates the market for gum. Growth opportunities exist for sugar-free, low carbohydrate, and
functional added-value products. There are niche opportunities for U.S. companies offering quality,
innovative products with attracting packaging design.
Average exchange rate for calendar year 2011:
USD 1 = 0.72 Euros
Source: The International Monetary Fund
SECTION I. MARKET OVERVIEW
In 2011, the sugar confectionery market grows 2 percent in value over the previous year. Pastilles,
gums, jellies and chews were the market leaders with a 5 percent increase in value to reach $437.5
million. Cadbury France SA is the market led with 12 percent value market share. The outlook for
sugar confectionery market is expected to remain stable in coming years with an increase volume under
The chocolate confectionery market increased slightly in 2011 reaching $5.4 billion. Seasonal
chocolate and chocolate with toys performed best because of the extended choices offered during the
holidays. Ferrero France SA was the leading manufacturer, with 19 percent market share in value. Unit
prices increased, as key ingredients such as cocoa, milk, and sugar continued to rise. Sales in coming
years are expected to slightly decrease in volume.
After a decline in the previous year, gum sales grew 1 percent volume in 2011, valued at $861 million.
Sugar-free gum has the best volume growth in 2011 at 2 percent. Cadbury France dominated the gum
market with 50 percent market share in value. Gum sales are expected to grow moderately in volume in
the upcoming year.
SECTION II. MARKET ENTRY
Sales of pastilles, gums, jellies and chews rose (5 percent up from previous year). Jellies, preferred by
children because of their texture, attracted a new player, Kraft Foods’ Carambar brand. Kraft Foods
launched Soucoups and Acid Mix in direct competition with jellies leaders- Haribo and Luitti. The
market share of Haribus and other Haribo brands decreased slightly in 2011, due to the new EU
regulation regarding azoic dyeing. Manufacturers stopped using bright colors and adapted to the new
pastel colors instead. Mints and medicated confectionery remain important to sugar key in sugar free-
products. According to trade sources, Ferrero France launched a new sugar-free mint Liberty, which is
doing well. On the contrary, Haribo launched a sugar-free confectionery with no success.
Boiled sweets sales declined by 4 percent in 2011. This decline is expected to continue in the coming
year, due to younger consumers’ preference for gum and chocolate confectionery.
Chocolate manufacturers were challenged by the increasing prices for key ingredients. Some market
leaders chose to raiseprices rather than change the recipes of their consumers’ favorite brands. In 2011,
advertising campaigns, marketing operations, and new product development boosted sales by
encouraging impulse purchases. Chocolaterie Cantalou SA, a subsidiary of Cemoi, launched its
premium range, Le Monde d’Agathe.
Market share in value increased in 2011 for plain milk chocolate within tablets (43 percent), as well as
filled tablets (36 percent). Leading manufacturers in chocolate confectionery such as Kraft Foods
France SA with Cote d’Or and Lindt & Sprungli SA developed their offering of filled tablets.
After declining sales between 2007 and 2010, the gum market slightly increased by one percent in 2011,
thanks to fewer innovations responding to consumer needs. Prices returned to normal levels after years
of being overinflated. The largest categories of the sector are functional and sugar-free gums with a
volume increase of 2 percent each over the previous year. The success of sugar-free gum is partially
driven by Wrigley’s brand, Freedent, and Airwaves. Sugar-free products’ benefits and well-being for
overall dental care were promoted by the French Dental Health Association (UFSBD). The top brand
flavors were mint and fruit. The popularity of mint flavors, such as menthol, chlorophyll, and power
mint is the image of freshness that is preferred by 70 percent of French consumers. As a result of
consumers’ preference for sugarless products, the sugar gum market share volume sales were only 3
percent in 2011, and the lack of innovation and promotions for bubble gum lead to only a 8 percent in
volume sales share.
SECTION III. COMPETITION
With a 12 percent in value market share, Cadbury France continued to lead the sugar confectionery
sector in 2011 thanks to its extensive presence in almost all subsectors. La Pie qui Chante and
Carambar were the two main brands in the industry, followed closely by Krema and La Vosgienne. One
of the best performances was that of Nature Addict (NA) by Solinest SA. The secret of its success is a
100 percent natural and unique product with no added sugar or preservatives. A new flavor mango-
passion fruit is to be launched soon.
Innovations and new launches should at least satisfy one of the following: (1) offer a new or different
taste; (2) practical in terms of packaging; or (3) have a health and wellness component. Also,
advertising is crucial in driving sales of sugar confectionery. As hyper/supermarkets use more self-
checkout tills, it is important for PCP manufacturers to reinforce the visibility of their products. This is
why Ferrero developed a stand especially designed for its Tic Tac brand at self-checkouts. In terms of
packaging trends: Chupa Chups had an excellent year in 2011, thanks to its new smaller packaging.
Since small children tend to not finish their regular-sized lollipops, the manufacturer launched a new
brand called Mini Chupa Chups.
Chocolate confectionery in France faces direct competition from other indulgence categories, such as
sweet and savory snacks, baked goods, and ice cream. Chocolate is popular as an afternoon snack (le
gouter) immediately after school. Ferrero France has based its advertising campaign around this for its
Artisanal chocolate ranked first in chocolate confectionery closely followed by Ferrero France with 19
percent market share in 2011. Private label sales declined in every category except tablets in 2011.
Most consumers of chocolate confectionary prefer branded products rather than cheaper private label
The three leading players of the French gum market were Cadbury France, Wrigley, and Perfetti van
Melle France all totaling 96 percent in value market share. New launches are frequent in the gum
sector, whether it is in terms of packaging, flavors, or entirely new brands. Cadbury France with its
flagship brand, Hollywood, and new product line innovations led sales again in 2011, followed by
Wrigley France SNC, with its Freedent brand focusing on the most popular: white and classic. As
hyper/supermarkets use more self-checkouts it is important for manufacturers to reinforce the visibility
of their products. Private labels remained negligible in gum, with only one percent in value share last
year. Consumers prefer taste and sensation from well-known brands rather than trying private label. If
branded products are perceived as too expensive, consumers will shift to other confectionery or impulse
products rather than downgrading to private label gums.
SECTION IV. BEST PRODUCT PROSPECT
French consumers are receptive to innovation and new flavors. In order to ensure the dynamism of the
market for the coming years, manufacturers will have to innovate, create new flavors, and new
packaging. Consumers are tapping into the health and wellness trend; therefore, manufacturers are
likely to focus on sugar-free variants and use of natural ingredients for their products. Stevia, a natural
sugar alternative, may become an important confectionery ingredient in the near future.
As for packaging trends, mono-packaging and metal boxes should continue to create sales. Also, mono-
packaging’s success should increase due its close visibility to cash registers in hyper and supermarkets
and in tobacconists. In addition, hard discounters now offering more self-check outlets should benefit
sales. On the contrary, private label sales are not expected to increase, as consumers prefer well-known
Relative weakness of the U.S. dollar against Price competition is fierce. Major actors are large European
the Euro should benefit U.S. products companies. U.S. exporters must comply with French and
European regulations, especially for color additives.
The United States has strong brand power France imports new-to-market, innovative products
The young and adult generations are looking U.S. suppliers must adapt products to French consumers’
for healthy and innovative products with expectations and tastes at moderate prices
attractive package designs
80 percent of confectionery, chocolate, and Price wars and strong pressure on suppliers
cocoa products are sold in hyper/supermarkets
Basic Labeling/Packaging Requirements
Labels should be written in French and include the following information:
Shelf life: Indicate “used by” and “best before” dates and other storage requirements
Precautionary information or usage instructions, if applicable
Statement of contents: Ingredients, weights, volumes, etc., in metric units. All
additives, preservatives, and color agents must be noted on the label with its specific group name or “E”
Product’s country of origin and name of importer or vendor within the European Union
Manufacturer’s lot or batch number
SECTION V. KEY CONTACTS AND FURTHER INFORMATION
Internet Home Pages
Internet home pages of potential interest to U.S. food and beverage exporters are listed below:
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) http://www.fas.usda.gov
FAS U.S. Mission to the European Union http://useu.usmission.gov/agri/usda/html
European Importer Directory http://www.american-foods.org
Website for Professional Trade Shows
and Events http://www.salons-online.com
Questions/Comments and Assistance
If you have any questions or comments regarding this report, need assistance exporting to France or
desire French buyers contact lists, please get in touch with the U.S. Agricultural Affairs Office in Paris
Foreign Agricultural Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Embassy of the United States of America
2, avenue Gabriel
75382 Paris Cedex 08, France
Phone : (33-1) 43 12 2245
Fax : (331) 43 12 2662
Email : email@example.com
Homepage : http://www.usda-France.fr
Please view our homepage for more information on exporting U.S. food and beverages and to find
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