For several years, local products attract more and more consumers. In 2020, 64% of French people said they preferred local products when shopping. With the Covid-19 health crisis, this trend has accelerated. Indeed, during the first confinement of spring 2020, more and more people started short circuits. It must be said that there is something for everyone!
A peak in attendance in the spring of 2020
For example, there are farm shops, such as Chemin-d’Aisey, Potager de la Borde. Since 2017, Benjamin Verdot has been selling its fruits and vegetables, as well as local products from surrounding farms. Every year, new customers come back regularly to shop at his place. During the March 2020 lockdown, he saw a spike in attendance: “there are people who came to avoid the supermarkets, the crowd, the fear of shortages. It was also to go out”, according to Benjamin Verdot.
Same observation at Clos Simonin, at Agathe Krempp. With her husband, she runs a beef farm. Everything is sold in a short circuit: either in their store on the farm, or via online services such as the Farmer Drive or the Ruche qui dit oui. So, this spring 2020 craze, she felt it: “It was really impressive, for example, at Drive Farmer, we went from a hundred weekly orders to three hundred and fifty.”
It was a golden age of local products, something really unprecedented. Agathe Krempp, cattle breeder and manager of a La Ruche shop who says yes.
Back to normal in 2022?
Today, orders have returned to pre-2020 cruising speed: between eighty and one hundred and twenty orders per week. Same observation for Jean-Louis Carlin. He manages the AMAP Le Panier pollien, in Vendenesse-en-Auxois. At home, customers subscribe to the service for a year. Between 2021 and 2022, 25% of members did not renew their subscription. “We found that the members who left are among the most recent”, he explains. For him, this enthusiasm can be explained more by travel constraints which have forced people to consume as close as possible to their homes. But now that these constraints are less important, everyone has returned to their old habits.
A sustainable increase for online services
Precisely, ordering on online platforms, according to Agathe Krempp, has become a habit for more and more people who have discovered the practical side of these drives. In addition to her activity as a breeder, she manages the La Ruche shop that says yes to Flagey-lès-Auxonne. For her, this is the right compromise since customers know where the product they are buying comes from, and at the same time, they can buy it from home, then come and pick it up at the store. “A few years ago it would have seemed crazy to buy a steak or a salad just by seeing a picture, but it’s very practical!”
This enthusiasm for online services is forcing some shops to diversify. This is the case of the Au gram near store in Dijon. Created three and a half years ago, this store of local products without packaging was not intended to set up online orders, yet the managers had to get started: “We had to get started, and now we know that it’s essential even if we are a physical business and we want to stay that way. But we are adapting to new expectations”, says Julie Collin, the co-manager. During the spring 2020 confinement, an “artisanal” click and collect system was put in place. All you had to do was order what you wanted on the internet and then pick it up at the store. Given the success of this system, the two managers have also set up fruit and vegetable baskets since the summer of 2021. Despite everything, at least 95% of the store’s activity is done in person, and Julie is very attached to it: “For the baskets, for example, you have to come and pick them up on site and it’s always the time to talk to people, give them advice, they come to do additional shopping. _It’s more about giving a date and making life easier for people_“.