FRANCE: Food sales down 8% in 2009
France's food processing industry sales fell by almost 8% in 2009, bringing to an abrupt end a long period of annual growth of about 5%.
The fall in sales to EUR139bn (US$169.5bn) was largely due a decrease of 7.4% in factory-gate prices, itself a consequence of a decline in primary goods prices, figures from trade body ANIA suggested.
Production volumes were up by almost 1%, reflecting a stability in household consumption, ANIA said.
Among the segments hardest-hit were dairy, which saw sales fall 11.4%, followed by meat preparations - down 4.2% - and tinned fish products, which dropped 3.6%.
The decline in sales also reflected the trend of own label gaining ground to the detriment of national brands.
Having kept a low profile in 2009, food company chiefs fear that 2010 may be even more difficult, with any real recovery not kicking in before 2011, ANIA president Jean-René Buisson said.
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