Fishmongers, greengrocers, butchers…: food businesses in good shape in Occitania

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A study by INSEE published on Tuesday shows that Occitania ranks third among regions in metropolitan France for the number of food shops per 100,000 inhabitants. A high density linked to the tourist and rural profile of the region.

Occitania, as we know, is a land of good food and the latest study by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee) published on Tuesday, on the number of specialized food shops, seems to confirm this idea.

“In Occitania, a quarter of the points of sale are in the specialized food trade. Although they are on average smaller than at the national level, these shops are very present in the region. This ranks third among the regions of Metropolitan France for the number of food shops per 100,000 inhabitants. This high density is linked to the tourist and rural profile of the region”, summarizes INSEE.

“Local trade still plays a major role”

“In the region, specialized food shops are more present in the small areas of attraction of the cities than in the large ones and in the urban centers rather than in the crowns. However the municipalities outside the areas of attraction remain the best provided. , illustrating that local trade still plays a major role in these territories”, indicates INSEE.

The operations carried out by the State and the local authorities and in particular the Occitanie Region (Coeur de ville, Pass Commerce de Proximité, L’OCCAL funds, In my zone, etc.) have undoubtedly contributed to maintaining this network in the region, a network that explains the good place of Occitan in the INSEE study.

Specialized food shops by department

Specialized food shops by department

Thus in France, in 2020, almost a fifth of sales of food products (19%) were made by specialized food businesses (bakeries, pastry shops, butchers, delicatessens, etc., sales three times lower than those made by supermarkets (hypermarkets, supermarkets and multi-stores) In 2017, Occitanie had 7,272 specialized food stores, i.e. 24% of all the points of sale in the region.

These businesses, present in three out of ten municipalities (i.e. 1,364 municipalities) employ 22,600 full-time equivalents and generate a turnover of nearly 2.5 billion euros, i.e. respectively 16% of employment and 8% of the turnover of all the points of sale in the region. Still in 2017, Occitanie had 124 specialized food shops per 100,000 inhabitants compared to an average of 102 in mainland France. The region is therefore the third in mainland France behind two other very touristy ones in the South of France: Corsica (150) and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (130).

In Occitania, the good place of fishmongers

These food product sales outlets in Occitania are mainly bakeries and other bread shops (49%) or butchers and delicatessens (22%). They are also beverage (8%) or fruit and vegetable (8%) businesses. Finally, particularly present in Occitania, fishmongers represent 3% of specialized food shops, i.e. 1 point more than on average in mainland France. A place which is explained because our region has the ports of Grau-du-Roi (first trawling port), Sète and Agde, the first French fishing ports in the Mediterranean.

Specialized food trade in mainland France (in number per 100,000 inhabitants)

Specialized food trade in mainland France (in number per 100,000 inhabitants)

On the other hand, INSEE notes that specialized food businesses in Occitania are smaller, with fewer jobs and a turnover, on average, lower than in other regions.

Uneven geographical distribution

INSEE also notes that these businesses are less represented in large urban centers, unlike more rural municipalities. “In Occitania, as at the national level, the number of food shops per inhabitant decreases when the population of the area of ​​attraction of the city increases”, indicates INSEE.

Thus the density of shops is lower in the largest areas, ranging from 95 shops per 100,000 inhabitants in the Toulouse area, the most populated in Occitanie, to 125 in the Perpignan area, passing through 104 in Montpellier. and 109 in Nimes. Areas with less than 50,000 inhabitants are the best provided with specialized food shops with an average density of 158 per 100,000 inhabitants. Another example, the area of ​​attraction of Lacaune in the Tarn is distinguished by a strong presence of delicatessens and that of Grau-du-Roi in the Gard by many fishmongers. Overall, areas with less than 50,000 inhabitants have 1.5 times more specialized food shops per inhabitant than those with more than 200,000 inhabitants.

On the other hand, in 2017, seven out of ten municipalities in Occitania did not have a specialized food trade on their territory, notes INSEE. Unsurprisingly, these municipalities, which are home to 16% of the region’s population, are mostly very small and none of them has more than 5,000 inhabitants. However, they are not isolated because they are close: 64% are located in a city attraction area.

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