The growth of specialist natural and organic food retailers in France in recent years is helping to widen access to organic, a new report shows.

The new study by economic bureau L’Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques (Insee) reveals that there are now over 2,000 specialist organic stores across the country, compared to 57,000 similarly sized ‘local shops’.

The report said: “Specialist organic food shops (under brands such as La Vie Claire, Biocoop and Naturalia) are now present across the whole of France”. The highest concentration of such outlets are to be found in the south and west of Paris, Brittany – where organic support is particularly strong – Occcitania and in the Rhône-Alpes.

Leading French supermarkets, like Carrefour and Super U, have also been expanding their offer in recent years, helping such ‘normal supermarkets’ to capture around 50% of total organic food sales in France.

Earlier this year, specialist natural and organic food chain Naturalia opened its biggest store to date. The new 1000m2 Naturalia Bio Market carries over 10,000 organic lines and features the retailers’ biggest ever bulk self-serve offer, along with in-store bakery, butchery and cheese department.

Photo: French supermarkets have significantly expanded their organic offer in recent years