As 2023 sees its final days, a glimmer of hope seems to be on the horizon regarding the state of mind with which the French will approach the new year. If the consequences of inflation have seriously affected their daily lives, consumers are more optimistic for 2024.
Prices in the departments of supermarkets which exploded by up to 15.8% last March over a year, all departments combined. Vegetables which showed enormous growth, of the order of 29.3% during this same period, and fruits whose prices continue to increase at the end of the year (+4.7% in October). A few weeks ago, the first Food Vulnerability Observatory, published by the Nestlé Foundation, revealed that 35% of French people were not getting enough to eat. 2023 was clearly marked by an inflationary context whose consequences we have ceased to analyze both in the daily lives of consumers and in their livelihood strategies. There is quantity, but also quality: a recent Credoc study indicated that only a third of consumers have the means to buy the food they want to eat. In 2016, half of the French population had the financial capacity.
Despite this heavy news which has made the atmosphere gloomy throughout the year, we are moving towards a less gloomy period, at least when we compare the opinion of consumers in relation to their state of mind measured at the end of summer, according to the eighth wave of the Opinion Way barometer “From purchasing power to purchasing desire” for Bonial. If there is still a majority of French people (65%) who consider that their purchasing power will deteriorate in 2024, this proportion is much less significant, around fifteen points less compared to the year last. Furthermore, only 50% of them plan to make trade-offs between their food and energy expenses. This is still a lot, but this proportion is actually down by six points. At the same time, fewer consumers will think about making sacrifices to treat themselves next year (59%). Ultimately, 31% of French people approach 2024 with a positive state of mind.
This gives a glimmer of hope for how the French will start next year. But everything is not yet decided because more than three quarters (78%) still consider that their purchasing power is undermined by the economic situation, not to mention that 35% believe they cannot live decently. Ultimately, the French have the feeling that inflation is around 19% over one year and that food prices have exploded by 21%. The feeling compared to the real situation is thus exacerbated in relation to the surge in prices which have burdened consumers’ wallets in 2023.
This OpinionWay survey for Bonial was carried out among a representative sample of the French population aged 18 and over 1,008 people, interviewed from November 28 to 29, 2023.