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Coronavirus: despite containment, the French in search of fresh products


Summoned to stay at home, the French frequent (a little less) merchants and favor drive and delivery services. The research

Deprived of restaurants since March 14 and most of the outdoor markets since March 23, the French are faced with a new challenge - in addition to bearing the isolation and stress linked to this pandemic due to the coronavirus: continue to do their races to eat, if possible avoiding a diet too oriented "pasta", as we saw at the beginning of confinement ...

Of course, the food businesses, large supermarkets in mind, remain open. And if we could fear for a time the appearance of shortages on basic necessities (rice, canned food, soap, etc.), this spectrum is fading. Certainly, "with confinement, teleworking, the closing of canteens, the French buy a lot more, and this has an impact," concedes a distributor.

But do not panic: if here or there, ham, eggs or yogurt are missing, it is just "one-off shortages". "We have thirty days of inventory in our warehouses," reassures Carrefour. “The supplies on canned goods, pasta, rice, infant products, frozen foods, household products, etc. have been strengthened, ”confirms a Casino spokesperson. "Our shelves have never been better stocked," says Michel Biéro, from Lidl.

The drive has become a headache

Be careful, however, if you continue to go out to do your shopping in stores to respect the barrier gestures, and to inform yourself before going there: considering that they are in too great danger, Force Ouvrière calls the employees of the large distribution not to come to work this Sunday. As for the distributors themselves, anxious to spare their troops, but also to take into account a lesser influx of customers at certain times, several stores including Monoprix, Carrefour or Lidl decided to close earlier in the evening.

Because in fact, there will be a before and after a coronavirus: the French who can, abandon the “classic” races in favor of the drive and home deliveries, which limit the health risk. On the drive side, however, succeeding in winning a niche is increasingly an obstacle course, as demand has exploded. Carrefour has received six to seven times more orders in the past ten days, while Casino stores have registered 25 times more subscribers to their drive application last week.

On Thursday in Compiègne, hundreds of customers followed each other all day long at the chrono drive very close to the hospital. / LP / Elie Julien

As a result, for thousands of consumers, visiting this or that drive several times a day, hoping to win a niche, becomes a ritual. And the difficulty has increased even more recently with the phenomenon of "no show" - translate orders not recovered -, which now represents 10 to 25% of orders of the day depending on the brand: most distributors do not charge the customer that during the withdrawal, some of those who manage to buy by another means what they need "forget" to cancel the order placed ...

In delivery, the problem of white areas and "sensitive" neighborhoods

Unsurprisingly, home deliveries are also exploding: according to the e-commerce Observatory, iAdvize, food shopping has jumped 173% in the last 30 days (compared to the previous 30 days). With the same concerns for late deliveries: an order placed with Picard on Friday March 20 will be sent to you on Monday, April 13, 2020. Even the giants of e-commerce (Amazon and CDiscount in particular) are now slow to deliver.

And then, on the delivery side, the problem of "white areas" (rural areas or outskirts of medium-sized cities in particular) persists: if System U displays a good network of the territory, Leclerc only delivers to Paris or Toulouse, Carrefour announces "80 cities ”delivered in France, and Intermarché does not deliver, for example, to Tourcoing (Nord), Pont-Audemer (Eure), or Chaumont (Haute-Marne).

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The white areas are also legion in the so-called sensitive districts, where millions of French people live: “Since I settled in Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis), several times my large area has refused to deliver, s insurgents Isabelle, editorial secretary. I had to specify that I live in a quiet area to convince them, ”she continues.

General mobilization to save traders

To try to compensate for the closure of the markets - even if a very recent health protocol validated by the government allows to reopen some, many initiatives have emerged, to put in contact merchants on the verge of bankruptcy and consumers now eager to rediscover the taste of fresh products. "After the period when they stored pasta and rice, for fear of confinement, the French want more fresh and local products", attests Edouard Morhange, the president of, which will list 1000 online traders in a months, up from 400 today.

To save these bakers, market gardeners, caterers or fishmongers, and allow them to continue their activity, mobilization was general in recent days: market traders organizing grouped deliveries, delivery sites serving more municipalities, local authorities listing online all professionals of their territory… once again, in times of crisis, the citizen spirit and ingenuity are tasted together.

Source: leparis

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