The survey, presented exclusively at the Vitagora event in Dijon on Tuesday, involved more than 1000 consumers representative of the French population aged 16-70, and found that although snacking and eating on the go was increasing, quick-to-eat foods did not always meet consumers’ expectations.
Half of those surveyed said they snacked between lunch and dinner during the week, and nearly a third (29%) did so between breakfast and lunch.
“Snacking is well-established in France, but there are still areas of opportunity,” said Ipsos Public Affairs account director, Trends and Insights Department, Lise Brunet, speaking in French.
She said that while taste was the top factor for ‘on the go’ foods in France, fresh, healthy ingredients were on the rise. Being practical to eat, healthy and inexpensive were also important criteria.
From low-salt to gluten-free
Brunet added that there were big opportunities for inexpensive, healthier products; consumers were not satisfied with the availability of low-salt, low-sugar products, for example. In addition, some niche areas could also present opportunities, to appeal to vegetarian consumers, organic consumers, and those with food allergies and intolerances, for example.
The average spend on a quick meal during the week was €6.60, Ipsos found, and Brunet said this could be a challenge for companies developing on-the-go products, as 23% of those surveyed thought such foods were too expensive.
The poll found significant interest in homemade products, especially those that did not have a strong odour, as well as products that could be personalised.
It found that more than half of those who sought quick alternatives to a ‘real meal’ did so because they felt they didn’t have time – and this feeling of having too little time had increased steadily over the years, from 34% of the population in 2006 to 42% in 2014.