Why now is good time to stock up on hygiene products in France

Discounts of up to 80% are available at supermarkets including Carrefour, E.Leclerc, and Auchan

A woman looking at a shampoo bottle at a Super U supermarket
Supermarkets taking part include Carrefour, Auchan, Système U, Intermarché, and E.Leclerc, with discounts of up to 80%
Published Last updated

Now is a good time to stock up on hygiene products in France, as supermarkets including E.Leclerc and Carrefour, slash prices before new laws on discounts come into force on non-food items in March.

From March 1, non-food items including hygiene, cleaning, and perfume products will be subject to the same promotion regulations as food items, which limit offers and discounts to a maximum of 34%.

The regulations, from the law dubbed the loi Descrozaille, were first presented as a way to protect manufacturers in negotiations with supermarkets, to ensure they were not forced to sell at a loss. The food version of the law is known as the loi Egalim.

Read more: What is France's EGalim law and why does it matter to farmers?

Supermarkets are looking to take advantage of the current position until the new law comes into force and are selling some products at discounts of up to 70-80%.

Those taking part include Carrefour, Auchan, Système U, Intermarché, and E.Leclerc.

Some of the biggest price cuts include:

  • Ariel washing capsules: €5 instead of €16.80 (Carrefour)

  • Oral-B toothpaste: €1.50 down from €4.99 (Carrefour)

  • A pack of 108 Pampers nappies: Less than €9 vs almost €44 normally (Carrefour)

  • Paic washing-up liquid: 80% off (Auchan)

  • Pack of X-Tra detergent: 60% off (E.Leclerc)

  • Pack of Fairy dishwasher detergent: 50% off (Système U)

Other products being sold at high discounts include Le Petit Marseillais, Mr Propre, Le Chat, and Tahiti.

Carrefour has some of the most aggressive promotions. Its CEO, Alexandre Bompard, has been one of the most vocal industry leaders opposing the law. In August 2023, he wrote an open letter to parliament recommending a moratorium on it.

Mr Bompard called it “inflationary” within the context of increased costs of living.

He said: “We have to understand that as many as 20% of French people are currently going without hygiene products [because of the cost]. This law only benefits three major global multinationals. They are going to increase their margins, while consumer deprivation is still there.”

Many supermarkets also appear to be offering discounts as a way to prove their commitment to customer purchasing power after brand giant E.Leclerc has long claimed to be a leader in that arena.

Consumer specialist Olivier Dauvers has even said that the gap between prices at Carrefour and E.Leclerc hypermarkets has reached 8.5%, "a historically high level".

Related articles

Senators back ending 2-for-1 deal on toiletries in French supermarkets
French supermarkets fined a total of €4.5m for uncompetitive practices
Why are essential items so expensive in France?