Food consumption: the winners and the losers in 2021

Posted on Jan 2022 at 13: 11

No deconsumption of food in 2021, according to Nielsen. Despite a form of return to normal on the sanitary side for part of the year. On the contrary.

“After an unprecedented year 2020, mass consumption has repeated almost the same performance,” say the panelists. So much so that the decrease in value was limited to 0.3% in 2021, which allows an extremely positive balance compared to 2019 with an increase of 6% over two years. Note, a larger decline in volume (-0.2%) than in value.

Over the year as a whole 2021, “it is the ready meals, beers and sandwiches that have most fueled the dynamics of supermarkets” , Nielsen said again. In front, in order of importance of their contribution to the growth of turnover, non-alcoholic drinks, Asian products, chocolate and champagne.


Brands fared better, especially those of SMEs (+ 1.9%), than private labels, which fell by 2.6%. E-commerce confirms its success with French consumers with growth of + 6.1%. “E-commerce is once again the most dynamic circuit, with home delivery and pedestrian drives winning market share in the still dynamic ‘car’ drive”, explains Nielsen. Sales of hypermarkets and supermarkets fell by 0.9% and 1.2% respectively. Local commerce is also trending downward (-0.2%).


The big losers of the year 2020 are … the big winners of 2020, first year of health crisis, successive confinements and changes in habits. In 2020, the “homemade” exploded . Families have started cooking, especially for the children. As a result, all the ingredients for the pastry, pancakes and sauces had their strongest moments. This was the case of milk which had been declining for years , eggs and butter. The canned goods experienced the same relative disaffection at -3%.

Things have returned to normal, one might say, confirming historical trends. Finally, the contribution of these products to the decline in the turnover of the brands in 2020 is 3%. That of masks is much higher at -9%, reflecting a plunge in their sales of 60%. Case to be continued, however, given the recent rebound, especially in favor of FFP2.

Celebrations and losses

Other losers, the festive products. “Mixed results in December,” says Nielsen, although chocolates and sparkling wines are up from 2020. “But, here too, the exercise 2019 was exceptional and the performance remains very positive compared to 2019 ”. Sales of smoked salmon and trout fell 4.7% at the end of the year. Foie gras from , 5%. And champagne by more than 5%, while sparkling wines gained 2.6% and chocolate 7.5%. Ending a very dynamic course all year round for the latter.