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France: rich and stable in coffee, and an untapped resource.

France: Rich and stable in coffee, and an untapped resource

In terms of the vivacity of her coffee market, its size and variedness, its devotion to coffee as a study, a pleasure and a way of life, France is one of the glories of our industry. The French trade and industry has been experiencing considerable change in the past decade, as have all national markets. The French coffee landscape has seen a good share of concentration, acquisition, etc. It is a smaller scene, if no less intriguing. But the coffee flavor here remains distinctly and especially Gaulic. The French attitude and enthusiasm for coffee offer an inestimable although largely untapped resource to the international coffee community in its effort at repositioning coffee qualities in the popular imagination.

France remains as the world's third largest coffee market, although followed closely in volume now by Italy and Japan. The French market consumes approximately 25,000 tons of roasted coffee, including soluble products, per annum. Although growth can be fitful, the market has most certainly expanded during in the 1980's, and continued annual expansion of 1% is forecast as likely well into the 90's. This is a generally stable coffee market, marked by slow progression for Arabica coffees in share of the green market. Although high soluble consumption is traditional, the sector is flat. Sales are also steady for decaffeinated products.

The most striking trends in home consumption of recent years show a movement toward |espresso' type brands and to 100% Arabica products. In-home consumption in France totals in the 180-185,000 tons range for year 1990. About 20% of this is attributed to soluble products. Decaffeinated products account for some 8% of household purchases. The market is almost completely dominated by ground and vacuum-brick pack production.

Every important coffee marketer here now has an espresso product positioned on the market. Arabica-only brands now represent 40% of in-home purchases.

France's out-of-home coffee consumption is figured at 65-70,000 tons in 1990, including office, institutional and Horeca (foodservice) sectors. The actual |cafe' sector is placed at near 25,000 tons. Only about 2% of the Horeca sector is decaffeinated coffee. The French cafe market remains a bastion of the espresso machine.

In France, people can buy coffee in some 50,000 retail sites, or drink a cup at any of about 72,000 cafes. Retail sales are increasingly controlled by hypermarkets and supermarkets - 88% of household tonnage. This is leading to a growing competition between established national brands and the burgeoning market for distributors products. The distributors' own brands now account for 10% of large-store coffee sales. Although still nascent, specialty coffee sales are becoming more significant - and show genuine promise - led in part by the success of such specialty coffee store chains as Coffea and Meo.

France is reportedly served by more than 600 roasters. Obviously, as elsewhere, the vast majority of these companies have small roasting volumes and thrive on local business, particularly in the out-of-home and specialty coffee sectors. The retail, in-home market is carved up as follows:

Jacobs Suchard - 43%

Brand Families: Jacques Vabre 17% (Extensions-Gringo,

Nectar, Regal, Degustation Douce, Mid-Minuit)

Grand Mere 12.4% (Familial, Degustation,

Bone Nuit)

Carte Noir 13.4% (Velours

Noir, Night & Day) Douwe Egberts - 15%:

Maison du Cafe (Tradition, Brazil, Qualite Or,

Le Grand Cafe, Piazza, Relax)

Elephant Noir Segafredo-Zanetti France - 7%: Stentor 2.4% (Tradition,

Degustation, Decafeine)

Also: Quotidien, San Marco, Philtre d'Or,

Aromex Leporq-Legal - 4.5%: Cafe du Bresil, Cafe de

Colombia, Cafe de Cuba, Grand Arabica,

Prestige, Napoli, Decareve Lavazza SpA - 3%: Espresso, Grand Espresso,

Rosso, Oro, Bel Canto, Matino

Combined, these companies hold 73% of the retail coffee market in France. For the remainder, 18% is now held by distributors' brands, 9% by regional and local roasters, Leporq-Legal leads in production of distributors brands.

Green Coffee Market

France imported 312,933 tons of green coffee in 1990 (5.2 million bags). This brings an increase of 2.9% over the total for 1989, when 304,068 tons were imported. This marks five years of consecutive annual increases.

The market for green coffee in France continues to swing back and forth between certain key origins as to ranking of volumes in annual purchases. This means that Ivory Coast and Brazil almost take turns in holding the number one and two positions, although Brazil has now held the leading post for two consecutive years. In 1990, Brazil contributed 55,804 tons to the total green coffee import figure, down from 61,749 tons in 1988. Brazil thus held 17.8% of the green market. The Brazil share during recent years is as follows: 1989-20.3%; 1988-19.6%; 1987-18.9%; 1986-13.7%; 1985-24%.

Ivory Coast cleared only 35,955 tons into France during 1990, a sharp decrease from the 48,720 tons imported in 1989. Ivory Coast's share fell to 11.5% of the market, the lowest market share for the origin in recent memory. The origin's share has run as follows: 1989-16%; 1988-20.6%; 1987-12.7%; 1986-21.4%; 1985-26.1%.

Other major origins by volume, in 1990 (1989 volume in parenthesis), include: Zaire, 25,375 tons (15,005 tons); Indonesia, 24,391 tone (15,327 tons); Madagascar, 22,901 tons (22,722 tons); Cameroun, 22,176 tons (13,302 tons); Uganda, 20,031 tons (21,057 tons); Costa Rica, 7,492 tons (7,658 tons); Ethiopia, 7,0073 tons (7,694 tons).

Slightly more than 50% of the market is in Robusta coffees, led most certainly and traditionally by the OMCAF Group of origins. While some attention has been given to the fact that France has trended toward larger Arabica content in its national cup, it must be noted that Robusta remains an essential and enduring element in French coffee taste. Recently, a laboratory controlled coffee tasting test was conducted whereby a group of French drinkers sampled from 6000 cups, the results showed that two of the three most-preferred coffee origins by taste were Robusta from Ivory Coast and Cameroun.
 1982 '83 '84 '85 '86 '87 '88 '89
Robusta 60% 59% 57% 56% 61% 55% 54% 53%


Table : French Green Coffee Imports
 1990 1989
Brazil 55,804 61,749
Columbia 30,952 19,942
Costa Rica 7,492 7,658
El Salvador 3,663 2,123
Ecuador 541 150
Guatemala 4,163 3,790
Haiti 1,996 2,851
Honduras 1,912 1,955
Mexico 5,496 5,131
Nicaragua 2,780 2,393
Peru 462 326
Dominican Rep. 242 111
Venezuela 1,622 3,356
Other 4,963 4,432
 Total Amerique 122,088 115,967
Cameroun 22,176 13,302
Cote-d'Ivoire 35,955 48,720
Madagascar 22,901 22,722
Other OAMCAF 7,750 19,173
Burundi/Rwanda 5,229 6,187
Zaire 25,375 15,005
Kenya 2,181 3,165
Uganda 20,031 21,057
Tanzania 2,290 2,630
Angola 45 8
Ethiopia 7,073 7,694
Ghana - -
Sierra-Leone 896 1,986
Other Afrique 1,055 1,760
 Total Africa 152,957 163,409
India 1,676 2,035
Indonesia 24,391 15,327
Malaysia - -
New Guinea 768 571
Others 9,556 5,480
 Total Asia and Oceanie 36,391 23,413
Diverse Origins 1,497 1,279
 TOTAL GENERAL 312,933 304,068


Source: Le Cafe
COPYRIGHT 1991 Lockwood Trade Journal Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:export-import trade and domestic market
Author:Bell, Jonathan
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Jun 1, 1991
Words:1209
Previous Article:Quality - once you've achieved it, never let it go.
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