Ricola led the France herbal products market in 2012, accounting for a 15% share of value sales. The company's medicated confectionery product, branded Ricola, benefits from a large customer base, as it is positioned as a daily sweet, rather than just as a medicated product. French consumers tend to buy Ricola sweets impulsively, as they are widely present at the checkouts of major hypermarkets and supermarkets, as well as smaller corner shops/tobacco stores. As such, it is able to generate high sales traffic and value.
Dermatologicals saw the fastest current value growth of 8% in 2012, for two main reasons. Firstly, reassured customers, especially those who were very concerned about the side effects of standard products, were very keen to move their expenditure to safer herbal/traditional alternatives. Secondly, products and innovations in this category were positioned and marketed at premium prices. The double effect of increasing demand and premium pricing acted as direct boosters to overall value sales.
Over the forecast period, herbal/traditional products is expected to increase by a constant value CAGR of 2%. French consumers are likely to continue to favour such products for their natural appeal and lack of side-effects. In addition, the official recognition of the health and nutritional claims associated with some herbal ingredients by the European Union at EFSA level (currently working on the subject of plant allegations) is set to add to the positive dynamics of the category. Such an official recognition (even partial) will encourage the key players in France to reinforce their investment and research efforts in developing improved and more efficient herbal/traditional products.
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