France: market data & wholesale drinks

  • Counter Sales (CS) Generates most of the turnover compared to Table Service (TS) : nearly 8 out of 10 meals 
  • The same products are sold in a multitude of establishments: over 450,000 beverage outlets (excluding food retailers and supermarkets)
Beverages in Out-Of-Home Consumption is subject to intense competition
  • Food purchases (incl. drinks) in OOH Consumption : 27,2 billions € ex Tax in 2018 (from : Gira Food Service 2018)
    • Wholesalers :       66,7%
    • Cash & carry :      12,6%
    • Direct market :        9,1%
    • Logistic suppliers :  7,2%
    • Retail :                     4,3%

Purchases of beverages represent €9 billion excluding VAT, of which €8.1 billion excluding VAT for cold drinks.

The main suppliers are (market share in %) :

  • Food Wholesalers :                  8,7%
  • Beverage Wholesalers :           47,5%
  • Direct Sales :                           21,65%
  • Retail :                                    5,05%
  • Cash & Carry :                         11,5%
  • Others :                                   5,6%

Beverages sold in OOH Point of Sales come in different packaging :

  • Reusable and returnable packaging (glass and kegs): more than 515 million glass bottles ; more than 17 million kegs:
  • One way recyclable packaging (glass, PET, cardboard, can):  over 815 million glass bottles; 3 billion PET bottles; 1.6 billion cans 

In France, there are more than 500 beverage wholesalers with more than 10,000 employees represented by the Fédération Nationale des Boissons


Since 2013, an innovative service is proposed to HORECA customers: Glass (bottle) collection, with glass crusher service or with boxes.

  • Glass bottles collection is realized at the same time as beverages delivery. Glass is sent from wholesalers warehouses to recycling centers through optimized routes.

Since 2016, companies offering this service and other distinguishing activities can obtain a label for their Sustainable Approach.

  • The Label allows beverage wholesalers who want to participate in a sustainable development approach to promote their Social&Environmental Responsibility and their commitments in favor of employment and local commerce.
  • The label is designed first and foremost as a real help and support tool : it is based on a frame of reference inspired by the ISO 26000 standard and adapted to the Beverage Wholesale business specificities.
  • In order to verify and certify the correct implementation of these axes of advance within companies, annual audits are carried out by Ecocert Environment : it guarantees the value of the label and the reliability of the audit in accordance with the reference system of requirements.