Paris is one of our focus cities for food-to-go in 2023. We've just updated this article with findings from our latest visit, ahead of our safari later this month (sign up here):
A vibrant food-to-go landscape, great inspiration around concepts, cuisines and merchandising . We were impressed by the levels and direction of food-to-go development overall, with propositions and initiatives that definitely in some measures go beyond what we’ve seen in benchmark markets such as London, Dublin and Amsterdam. Clearly, bakery and patisserie concepts are a highly impressive and evolving element of this, but there's much to inspire and learn from beyond this.
Healthier eating options impress. There are two, possibly three, distinct aspects to this. Firstly, the evolution of salad options is a prominent feature within the landscape. Salad is done very well by a number of different operators across the price spectrum. In supermarkets and convenience there are also options that are a considerable upgrade on what those in many countries offer, not least seen through Picadeli and Foodmaker salad bars and the Bolk salad vending solution. The second aspect to this is around the strength of poké and the evolution into wider, fresh focused bowls, a growth opportunity we see across Europe. And finally, we've been impressed by healthier oriented concepts such as Exki and Cojean. Both marry great tasting product with a healthier focus and a welcoming in-store environment.
Newer fast food and wider hot options are strong and differentiated. We were surprised at the extent of fast food development beyond burgers, not least from the likes of O'Tacos (French 'tacos') and Berliner (kebabs).
Monoprix is one to watch for many reasons around food-for-now but also food-for-later. Monoprix is worthy of a full report in its own right around its diversification and development in food-to-go, but for the purposes of brevity, we'll focus here on the three features that instantly stood out to us. Firstly, the food-to-go sub branding through culinary specialist brands across Italian, Korean street food, Japanese soul food and Middle Eastern food within its food-to-go shelving really helps on many levels, not least in making it easier to shop. Here it works with Luna Foods, and while it's not an exclusive deal, the main locations we saw these products were in Monoprix stores. Secondly, the development of shop-in-shop counters with partners – we saw the Little Fuxia counter unit at one of its stores at Westfield Les Halles, a smaller offshoot of a well-known Italian restaurant brand. And thirdly in the product innovation itself, across a wider palate of global cuisines in food-to-go. Beyond Monoprix, there are also many other great things under way across food retail, not least in terms of best in class premium concept development and display.
We were struck by new and different interpretations and execution of Asian options. Poké's strength impresses, but beyond this, across Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine most prominently, ranges and propositions felt to be advanced compared with those seen in other key European centres.
Overall there is alot to learn from and get excited about in Paris. Get in touch to find out more about how our Paris food-to-go and food retail safari on 18 April can help you unlock new innovation and growth opportunities. Or simply sign up here.