Which supermarket do French people prefer for food shopping?

Major brands such as Leclerc and Intermarché do not even make the top five

The biggest supermarket names in France were superseded by specialists in the new ranking

Almost two-thirds of people in France prefer to do their food shopping at a supermarket, a new study has found, but the public’s favourite brands may come as a surprise.

The major players do not get a look-in, the study shows, with Leclerc, Carrefour, Auchan, and Intermarché nowhere to be seen in the top five.

Instead, the brands Picard, Biocoop, and Grand Frais top the ranking as the public’s favourite food shops, found the new study by global communications group Havas with PMP Strategy, for the most recent Paris Retail Week event.

The study compiled Google reviews left by clients in France for each of the supermarkets, for the second quarter of 2023. The ranking shows a wide range of supermarket types, from organic stores to discounters, but the biggest names are far from the top of the podium.

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In France, supermarkets are defined as having a surface area of 400m2 to 2,500m2, and hypermarkets a surface area of more than 2,500m2.

‘Specialisation’ wins out

Picard, which specialises in frozen food, is at the top of the ranking; followed by organic store Biocoop, and fresh produce specialist Grand Frais, which positions itself as “a blend of market and hypermarket”. Discount group Lidl comes next, in fourth place.

The first major hypermarket brand, Hyper U, is only in fifth place.

“In all cases, the conclusion is the same: specialisation means greater satisfaction,” said trade journalist Olivier Dauvers, who helped to produce the study. 

“The same is true of Lidl, whose promise to be a more focused [less wide-ranging] brand than a traditional supermarket means that it is more specialised. And therefore better rated.”

Picard was first founded in 1906, as a provider of ice bars to keep food cold. It was bought by Mr Picard in 1920, and began to sell frozen food to other retailers. 

From the 1970s, it began selling frozen food by mail order, which marked the start of a major rise for the brand. By 1980, it had 20 stores. It now has more than 1,050 across France.

The full top 10 ranking

The study shows that most of the major supermarkets do not make it into the top five. The top 10 shows:

  1. Picard (A mark of 4.5 out of 5)
  2. Biocoop (4.36/5)
  3. Grand Frais (4.34/5)
  4. Lidl (4.20/5)
  5. Hyper U (4.12/5)
  6. E. Leclerc (4.09/5)
  7. Netto (4.05/5)
  8. Super U (4.02/5)
  9. Aldi (3.95/5)
  10. Intermarché (3.93/5)