Touch on Bio store, 5th arrondissment, Boulevarde Saint Germain, Paris.

Organic groceries and fresh food are readily available in France. In Paris major supermarkets such as Carrefour and Casino which has the excellent Monop small store concept, range a wide variety of organic products from fresh produce to groceries, wine and cosmetics.

The French capital has an excellent variety of supermarkets, small grocers and specialist organic and health and beauty stores where you can find products bearing the French certified organic label Agence Bio and international organic certification labels. Groups such as Bio C’ Bon, Biomonde, Biocoop (360 cooperative stores) and La Vie Claire own a growing number of outlets.

Within this promising scenario Natexpo, the French bi-annual event for organic trade returns to Paris Nord Villepinte October 18-20. Theshowcase for the latest innovations and unique lines for a market that demands high sophistication and transparency, Natexpo is an initiative of Natexbio, the Federation of the French organic sector, produced by the Spas Group.

In 2012, specialised organic retail groups represented 27% of organic food sales in France, compared with traditional supermarkets and hypermarkets that had 47% of the market and the remaining share sold either direct from the producer or through artisan stores.

The cooperative group Biomonde, an organisation of independent traders, now has over 180 independently owned artisan stores. Organic & Wellness News visited one such member store in February, the Touche of Bio on 30 Boulevard Saint Germain, which is operated by Leah and Matteo Pepe Marjollet.

This small and well-stocked outlet featured a bright shopfront and pleasant interior and ranged an impressive diversity of organic and natural foods and products such as packaged groceries, dairy, bakery, beverages, cosmetics and personal care products, and excellent customer service.

Casino Group’s latest Monop small store concept sprung up around Paris from 2013 and offers a good range of organic products, including food to go, baguettes, pastries, salads, take home meals, coffee bar, groceries and wine, with bench and table seating.

In 2014, Carrefour opened its first organic store concept at 29 Boulevarde Diderot in Paris called Carrefour Bio, a 200sqm store that uses eco-friendly refrigeration and offers a wide range of organic groceries, cosmetics, fresh produce and fresh/chilled foods to go. It also operates a natural health and beauty store called Naturalia. In 2014 purchases of organic products in catering increased by 11% vs. 2013, reaching € 191 million before tax.

And 1,120,000 hectares were cultivated organically in 2014 (+ 4% / 2013), with nearly 40,000 operators, Agence Bio said.

Organic continues to develop and increase its reach, with 6 out of 10 French consumers regularly buying organic goods.

In 2014, the organic market grew by 10% compared to 2013, reaching 5 billion euros. Nearly 9 out of 10 French consumed bio, 6 out of 10 at least once a month (62 % vs 49% in 2013). The French have a positive image of Bio certified products and as observed at the Natexpo event every two years, they appreciate merchandising concepts that truly reflect sustainability values. For more information visit www.natexpo.com.