Whitepaper n°3: Foodservice

Published on by Ambre Huerre Paitry - updated on

Foodservice, more than just a meal

Just a few words about foodservice

The foodservice sector is very dynamic: all experts agree on this. As people have less and less time to prepare meals, they appreciate even more than before going to restaurants or being served in planes or in cafeterias. Yet, today, the foodservice experience is not just a matter of food, it also deals with health concerns, food trends, restaurants concepts... and the notion of pleasure. Local or global, homedelivery or on-site, creative or traditional cuisine, equipment or ingredient... there are now many ways to consider the foodservice sector, its challenges as well as its opportunities. It’s now time to discover the major assets and opportunities of this very dynamic sector.

France is back on track

The Foodservice market has registered a growth of 1.8% in 2017, after several years of stagnation. Good news for everyone? Independent players have been hit harder by reduced consumer spending on foodservice over the past few years. But many of them have been rethinking their approach, offering better quality and original concepts of cuisine. As GDP growth resumes, they now reap the fruits of their actions. On the other side of the market spectrum, chained operators continue to develop new hybrid concepts and franchises, opening more and more outlets all over the country. As a large proportion of urban population is time-pressed, seeking convenient food options, the demand for quick service restaurants and fine fast food can’t stop growing, especially in big cities. Another phenomenon reshuffles the landscape. Digitalisation is shaping the French foodservice sector more than in other Western countries, as the market used to be very traditional. Big winners will be those who tie a partnership or develop their own delivery service solution in order to make customers more loyal.

The digital revolution is underway!

ITW with Anne-Claire Paré, Director of Cabinet Bento

"France, clearly, is not exempt from the current revolution. You no longer go to the restaurant in the same way you did 30, 20 or even 10 years ago. Even if France remains very attached to the gastronomic traditions, some new trends are beginning to emerge. I’m thinking for example of the ‘Food Halls’, these large spaces hosting food shops, either permanent or pop-up, each proposing a culinary speciality, with gourmet cuisine to be tasted on the spot or to-go. While the concept has sprung up most everywhere in the West, it has really taken off in France, with the creation of Lafayette Gourmet in Paris (with an Eataly announced for the near future), Les Halles de Bacalan in Bordeaux, and the venerable Halles Bocuse in Lyon. Another strong trend in France is the emergence of hybrid concepts. During off-peak hours in the day, restaurants are transformed into cafes and co-working spaces, ready to receive a new clientele that they would not have been able to corner otherwise. Supermarket-cafeterias are also appearing on the scene. Franprix is developing in this way a new store format, offering twice as much space to the snacking area, and Picard is starting to open restaurants. Yet the France of foodservice, as befits its gastronomic tradition, is today moving a great deal to the rhythm of the fine casual, thanks to young chefs, many of whom have a high media profile, who are bringing a fresh and inventive touch to their cuisine, in locations conceived to offer a convivial and unforgettable experience. I believe that we shall continue to see the flourishing of new concepts in France, each more original than the last, thanks to this hybridisation trend!"

    

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