Who Eats What, Where, in France

Who eats most caviar in France’s 96 mainland départements and where do they consume the least amount of nougat? These and dozens of other food and beverage quirks are revealed on the inter-active map below.

Parisians buy three times more caviar and fresh soup than the average person in France but consume 68% less frozen dessert than anyone else, according to the Journal du Net‘s 2014 survey released in conjunction with market researchers Nielsen.

To discover the eating habits of the French in each département, first click on the title bar along the bottom of the interactive map above which allows users to switch between views of over-consumption and under-consumption of food and beverages, measured against the national average.

For data about the ten most over- and most under-consumed products in each département, hover with your mouse and a list of products in both categories will appear.

For instance the inhabitants of the Sarthe (72) département, home to the Le Mans racing circuit, buy 5 times more rilletes (pork pates) than the average French consumer but are not on the other hand, great fans of canned meat, pasta or … caviar. In the Doubs (25) département, the locals love cream cheese and fruit preserved in alcohol, but consume 58% less fresh milk than the national average, says the study.

Slate magazine republished the data after manipulating the map to show which beverages and foodstuffs were over-consumed in each département around the country.

Here is an image of that map:

This image shows the food and drink that is over-consumed in each departement  measured against national average.

This image shows the food and drink that is over-consumed in each département measured against national average.

JDN says its interactive map, updated for 2014, is not a reflection of the products that are most or least popular in each département, but rather the measure of the amounts purchased in each département compared to the average purchase of these products across all France.

Thus products such as nougat will be very popular in the region where they are made: 295% above national average in the Drôme (26), home to Montelimar the nougat centre of France, and 445% in nearby Alpes de Haute-Provence (04) but only 43% in the Meuse (55) or 50% in the Bas-Rhin (67). Consumption of alcoholic beverages also has a strong local dimension. The people of Charente-Maritime (17) buy 18 times more Pineau than the national average, while in the Gers (32), locals consume 7 times more Armagnac, again because that is where it comes from! However household basics such as rice, coffee, or yogurt, are consumed relatively evenly throughout the country.

For more information, visit nielsen.com and nielseninsights.eu

Story: ken Pottinger

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