Might these be the early signs of a recovery on the organic market at the forthcoming edition of Natexpo? While the proportion of organically certified products in French shopping baskets dropped from 6.5% to 6% in 2022, the latest indicators published by La Maison de la Bio are in line with the data released by the experts at Xerfi: after bottoming out in 2023, the organic market should see higher growth in 2024 (up by 2% to 12.4 billion euros) (Xerfi Precepta, 2022).


Natexpo 2023: from 22 to 24 October at Paris Nord Villepinte

This evolving landscape will be the backdrop for the next edition of the trade show Natexpo, the ‘actor in a supporting role’ to the organic sector, to be held from 22 to 24 October at Paris Nord Villepinte. The sector’s stakeholders will find themselves obliged to adopt new strategies to win over, or win back, consumers. Given this challenge, five speakers, all organic market specialists, convened in Paris on 19 September. Their fundamental roles in addressing the challenges faced by the organic market offer them a broad overview of the market. Appearing were Antoine Lemaire, editor-in-chief of Bio Linéaires, Philippe Laratte, deputy chief executive of La Maison de la Bio, Pascale Brousse, founder of Trend Sourcing and an expert in organic and eco-responsibility trends, Florence Roublot, Natexpo exhibition director and Valérie Lemant, managing director of SPAS Organisation. Together, they analysed the exclusive forecasts for the organic market and offered a sneak preview of the highlights in store.

The organic market: putting up some resistance in the first half of 2023

To provide the organic market with strong resonance and visibility, Natexpo and La Maison de la Bio asked the sector’s experts to draw up a progress report on the first half of 2023. In an environment still affected by inflation, continued consumer wariness of labels, and insufficient or poorly targeted public sector support, the organic market has nonetheless mounted a modicum of resistance.

In spite of the accelerating decline in the volume of off-the-shelf fresh consumer goods (-13.3%) and the streamlining of ranges which penalises the label in mass retail, positive signs are emerging. Specialist brands and private labels are gaining ground (+0.7 pts and +1.2pts respectively) and demand for organic listings is improving.

“A family of four can convert 20% of its consumption to organic for the price of one cigarette a day”

On the specialist organic shop market, the drop in turnover is less pronounced than in 2022. The decline in sales has remained flat over the last three months (+1.6% in July) with sales of fruit and vegetables up since March (+2% to 6%). The drop in volumes is meanwhile not as high as in mass retail. The market is in the early stages of expanding again, and should amount to 4 billion euros. Two levers can be activated to improve performance:

  • The out-of-home foodservice market: this collective catering niche accounts for 250,000 out of the 375,000 points of sale in France but only 700 million euros in sales. Today, organic goods purchasing only represents 7% of total purchasing by collective catering, compared with the 20% provided for in the Egalim Act.
  • But also direct selling to consumers (farm shops), accounting now for 13% of market share, with new organic market gardens (under 1 hectare) being set up for direct selling since January 2023.

To support the organic market recovery momentum, French people must also feel supported in their more sustainable practices. Indeed, a clear majority of them in 2023 (>65%) are in favour of a transition towards an organic farming and consumption model supported by the Government.

Natexpo 2023: a new organisation aligned with supply and demand

With 2,500 exhibitors and brands hailing from 23 countries and 18,000 professional visitors expected, Natexpo is shaping up to be an opportunity for prime meetings for French and international organic market players: retailers, commercial and collective catering firms, producers, manufacturers, buyers, processors, import and export managers, industrial firms and wholesalers can all develop their projects in aid of the food and agroecological transition.

Natexpo 2023 has made changes to its sector organisation, theme trails and features to meet the expectations of exhibitors and visitors: a better spotlighting of new arrivals at the show (a third of all exhibitors), high-potential sectors, an efficient visiting experience and the promotion of organic market innovations.

For this new edition, the show is divided up into 6 hubs of expertise: Food, Cosmetics & Personal Hygiene, Dietary Supplements, Ingredients and Raw Materials, Services and Equipment for Retail and Brands, and Eco products / Eco services.

In addition, two brand new theme trails, “Newbies” “Delicatessens and alternative grocery stores”, have been added to the six other existing theme trails: “Catering”, “Private Label”, “Vegan”, “Zero Waste”, “Epure” and “Local”. Following on from the successful “Ingredient Discovery Trail” in association with Ingrébio in 2022, Natexpo 2023 now offers the “Circular Economy Discovery Trail” in association with Cosmébio.

These trails will guide visitors around trailblazing companies in the fields of upcycling, recycling and zero waste, in both cosmetics and food. Furthermore, six theme villages showcasing innovations in organic will foster exchange and information sharing between professionals through the organisation of talks on high profile subjects in each zone. This year, a new village dedicated to dietary supplements is making its debut.

Natexpo 2023: from 22 to 24 October at Paris Nord Villepinte

Professionals will also meet up in the dedicated areas of the Organic Food/Wine Incubator, Cosmetics Village, Bid Splash Food, Big Splash Cosmetics, and Le Lab. In partnership with Bio Linéaires, the Experts Village and the Alternative Grocery Stores area have emerged from the desire to carry on discussions from the Organic Trend Forum and build strong ties between professionals from the organic and retail sectors.

“In view of the profound changes underway, Natexpo supports the players in the organic market in this transformation with high value-added content areas, 200 exclusive talks and 7 theme-based forums. This results in an exhibition divided into sectors of activity through a diversified offering focussing on the innovations in the sector”, says Florence Roublot, Natexpo Exhibition Director.

An international dimension to penetrate high potential markets

With 25% exhibitors from outside France in 2023 (up by 1.4 points compared with 2017 and by 5.7 points compared with 2019, the most international years to date), Natexpo has become an unmissable event for French and international markets. Through the “International mornings” organised on the Agora, Natexpo continues to offer privileged access to high potential and developing countries for the organic market. Also worth noting are the arrival of an Irish pavilion and the participation of Ecovalia Espana, the Spanish organic trade association, in a dedicated pavilion.

In partnership with Business France, several targeted and qualified business development initiatives have been introduced, including a hospitality programme for top buyers from international retailers, invited by Natexpo, who are coming with plans to purchase and invest in innovative French products. For the first time this year, the programme will include cosmetics buyers.

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