22 September 2020 1265 words, 6 min. read Latest update : 6 November 2023

Market research in France: the 10 best sources of data

By Lorène Fauvelle PhD in marketing, director of IntoTheMinds
15 years of experience in carrying out market research in many countries has enabled us to build up a very comprehensive directory of the best sources of information. Today we are delivering our TOP 10 data sources to help you […]

15 years of experience in carrying out market research in many countries has enabled us to build up a very comprehensive directory of the best sources of information. Today we are delivering our TOP 10 data sources to help you conduct your market research in France.

checklist is also provided at the end of this article.


Official national statistics

Statistics are essential for any good market research. Having figures that are not disputed is a “must” (especially if your file has to go through the caudal forks of a bank to get a business loan). Each country has an official institute that offers the highest level of quality. In France, the institution in charge of national statistics is INSEE (National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies). It provides a wide range of demographic, economic, social and societal data. Several levels of analysis are used for national, regional and even local representativeness.

How do you use this data for your market research?

  • Define a geographical location (catchment area) based on regional demographics and economy
  • Understanding consumer purchasing behaviour
  • Defining competitors in the market
  • Understanding some key legislative restrictions

This data will be particularly useful if you need to carry out PESTEL research (to find out more about PESTEL, click here).

Also remember to read our article on ODIL, an interactive market research tool proposed by INSEE.

Financial data of companies

To understand the profitability of a project, to do competition research, go through the analysis of the financial results of other companies. In France, the Societe.com website compiles legal and financial information on French companies: status, activity, turnover, results, balance sheet, and so on. Most of this information is subject to a charge. Fortunately, since 2020, free alternatives exist, notably via the INPI portal. Luckily, Societe.com provides some information free of charge, in particular, the turnover for the last 2 financial years (when available).

While the financial analysis will help you understand the situation of your competitors, it will also allow you to investigate the position of your future suppliers and partners. This can be an excellent indicator to judge the health (and appeal) of a market.

For companies working in B2B, this tool will also be a valuable ally in defining the target and in building your list of prospects.

Consumer protection

In France, the INC (National Institute of Consumer Affairs) is the body in charge of product testing and comparisons aimed at guiding consumers in their purchases. The INC notably publishes the magazine 60 millions de consommateurs (formerly known as “50 millions de consommateurs”) as well as the ConsoMag programmes.

On the INC website, you will find fascinating information on all kinds of markets. Go to the “indices” section and the “dossier” section of the site. In the latter, you can use a search engine to find the information you need.

The data provided by the organisations as mentioned above, will be used in particular to position you in relation to your competitors. Use the information on consumer trends to confirm or deny the interest of your future product or service. Remember that the first idea is rarely the right one. Don’t be discouraged if you perceive a lack of alignment with market demand. Think of it as an opportunity to improve your primary idea.

Customs and border protection

If you wish to import into or export from France, it is essential to take into consideration the legal restrictions imposed by customs and border protection services. There is nothing better than going to the government website douane.gouv.fr, where you will find all the essential data for importing and exporting products and services.

The customs sites are an excellent source of data for your PESTEL research, particularly for the “L” (legal aspects).

We have dedicated an article to market research applied to the export sector. You can access it here.

Sector data for your market research in France

To carry out your market research, you will also need to obtain statistics relating to your future sector of activity. Below you will find an overview of the best sources of sector data.


The data on the ANSM (French National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products) website is directed towards health professionals and suppliers of health products. In the “Dossier” section, you will find detailed information on many medicinal and pharmaceutical products. The ANSM also makes available its analyses focusing on public health issues. You will find them in the “Publications” tab.

The food industry

The food industry is represented by the ANSES (National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety). The agency’s website compiles indicators on the food industry market but also essential information on legal aspects. Go to the publications section of the site and use the search engine to find the information you need for your market research in France.
You will find additional and complementary information on the subject of food and French legislation related to food on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
Every 7 years, ANSES publishes a very comprehensive report on the evolution of French eating habits. This report is a mine of information for anyone considering entering this sector. We covered the latest edition of this report on our blog (see here).


The leading site that professionals working in the agricultural sector should visit is the Ministry of Agriculture and Food website, which lists legal data and trends in agriculture and food in France. On this site, you will find a wealth of information on French agricultural legislation, agreements and policies.


The ANIL website (National Agency for Housing Information) offers a lot of data on the housing market in France. Numerous scenarios and issues are described to best respond to tenants and landlords. The ANIL provides on its site a “studies” section which will give you a very comprehensive insight into subjects related to housing issues.


For the energy sector, the national contact point in France is ADEME, the Ecological Transition Agency (formerly the Environment and Energy Management Agency). Numerous studies are available in the media library section.


Bpifrance offers innovative solutions for companies in France. Also, France has created an Innovation and Industry Fund (FII) to assert its place in the innovation market.



Topic Data source Added-value for your market research in France
Nationals statistics INSEE Official figures to contribute to your PESTEL study
Financial data Societe.com

Portal data INPI

Competition research, profitability of the sector
Consumer protection INC
60 millions de consommateurs
Market analysis, sector analysis
Customs and border protection douane.gouv.fr Legal aspects of the PESTEL analysis
Sector data – Health ANSM Files on health issues and medicines
Sector data – The food industry ANSES

Ministry of Agriculture and Alimentation

Indicators on the food industry market and legal aspects
Sector data – Agriculture Ministry of Agriculture and Alimentation Agricultural legislation, agreements and policies
Sector data – Accommodation ANIL Housing market and related issues
Sector data – Energy ADEME Energy indicators and legislation
Sector data – Innovation Bpifrance Aid for innovation

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Illustrations: Shutterstock

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