France’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products

Europe’s second-richest country behind only Germany in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the French Republic is one of the European Union’s most strategically desirable markets for international sellers of imported goods.

The 100 most valuable consumer products imported into France attracted a subtotal US$272.1 billion worth of spending on international goods in 2020. That consumer-specific dollar amount represents 47.9% of the overall value of all goods imported into France, an impressive $568.3 billion worth of spending.

The 5 most valuable consumer products imported into France during 2020 were cars, medications, refined petroleum oils, automobile parts or accessories and phones.

The total dollar amount for the top 100 imported consumer products from the nation nicknamed The Republic by patriotic locals declined by -6% from 2019 to 2020. The top 100 consumer metric compares to a -10.9% drop for all of France’s imported goods for the year.

France’s purchases of imported consumer products dropped at a slower pace than the global average decline of -8.2% from 2019 to 2020 for all importing countries.

Among the top 100 consumer products imported by France, 36 increased in total value from 2019 to 2020 whereas 64 declined.

Changes in French consumer demand for essential imports offer future opportunities for international suppliers who correctly anticipate which upward or downward trends will continue.

Consumer Products Defined

Economics educator BoyceWire defines a consumer product as a final good or end product that a business creates for consumers to buy. For example, consumers often purchase refined petroleum oil at the gas station while imported crude oil is an intermediate good subject to further processing before being sold to end users.

Although there may be a few wealthy individual buyers, products like turbojets are excluded from the consumer products targeted by this study. That is because turbojets are usually purchased by corporations. In contrast, it is common for a consumer to buy a motorcycle.

Types of Consumer Products

This article focuses on 3 distinct consumer product types.

Convenience Products are easy to access, non-durable, have relatively lower prices and therefore consumers frequently purchase them. Examples of convenience products are food, alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, and soap.

Shopping Products are not as easily available, involve more time to make a buying decision, are durable and are not bought as often as most convenience products. A great example of a shopping product is a mobile phone where buying the wrong model is a much more expensive mistake than buying a disappointing loaf of bread.

Speciality Products describe another consumer product type. This grey area includes infrequently purchased, expensive, durable and sometimes rare items. Consumers may consider the product’s brand image when making their purchase decisions. Some examples of speciality products are gold, silver, diamonds, jewelry, and branded refrigerators and dishwashers.

France’s Most Valuable Imported Convenience Products

The list below showcases the most valuable imported convenience products on which buyers in France spent the most. Items were selected at the four-digit Harmonized System tariff classification code level and are presented in descending order.

You can also peruse the greatest increases or decreases in product values from 2019 to 2020 by focusing on the percentages displayed to the right of each product name.

  1. Medications: US$18,187,967,000 (up 15.7%)
  2. Processed petroleum oils: $16,350,036,000 (down -31.6%)
  3. Miscellaneous plastic items: $3,563,996,000 (up 3%)
  4. Plastic packing goods, lids, caps: $2,887,991,000 (down -4.8%)
  5. Coffee: $2,882,007,000 (up 5.5%)
  6. Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries: $2,340,902,000 (down -1.2%)
  7. Refrigerators, freezers: $2,319,456,000 (up 1.1%)
  8. Chocolate, other cocoa preparations: $2,207,191,000 (up 1.8%)
  9. Cheese, curd: $2,079,634,000 (up 7.5%)
  10. Other organic cleaning preparations: $1,662,280,000 (up 6.4%)
  11. Whole fish (fresh): $1,530,544,000 (down -2.2%)
  12. Fish fillets, pieces: $1,486,273,000 (down -6%)
  13. Cigars/cigarellos, cigarettes: $1,371,448,000 (down -5.6%)
  14. Fresh or dried citrus fruit: $1,355,179,000 (up 21.5%)
  15. Other food preparations: $1,254,725,000 (up 3.6%)
  16. Poultry meat: $1,173,998,000 (down -8.7%)
  17. Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs): $1,172,527,000 (down -11.3%)
  18. Fruit and vegetable juices: $1,160,034,000 (down -6.8%)
  19. Other fresh/chilled vegetables: $1,092,857,000 (up 11.6%)
  20. Crustaceans (including lobsters): $1,065,774,000 (down -0.7%)
  21. Fish, caviar (preserved/prepared): $1,047,657,000 (up 8.2%)
  22. Malt beer: $1,032,129,000 (up 1.5%)
  23. Dates/pineapples/mango/avocado: $958,557,000 (up 0.2%)
  24. Miscellaneous preserved fruits: $926,971,000 (up 4.1%)
  25. Fresh or chilled beef: $913,039,000 (down -18.2%)
  26. Uncoated paper for writing/printing: $902,995,000 (down -13.1%)
  27. Wine: $885,533,000 (down -10.4%)
  28. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $866,640,000 (down -47.3%)
  29. Swine meat: $843,062,000 (down -1.4%)
  30. Butter: $827,650,000 (down -22.5%)
  31. Prepared vegetables (non-frozen): $803,227,000 (down -1.7%)
  32. Waters with added sugar: $787,594,000 (up 5.4%)
  33. Pasta, couscous: $780,066,000 (up 9.9%)
  34. Miscellaneous nuts: $770,359,000 (up 4.8%)
  35. Other meats (preserved/prepared): $724,513,000 (up 1.9%)
  36. Sauces, mixed condiments, seasoning: $722,905,000 (up 0.4%)
  37. Miscellaneous fruits (fresh): $722,655,000 (up 5.9%)
  38. Tomatoes: $719,404,000 (up 2.1%)

Convenience products led by the products listed above represent the European country’s second-most popular import product type attracting France’s international spending behind shopping products but ahead of speciality goods.

Non-durable consumer products are goods that are not re-used once consumed. Alcoholic beverages and bananas are examples of non-durable goods. Convenience products are uniquely non-durable consumer products.

France’s Most Valuable Imported Shopping Products

Below, the list highlights the most valuable imported shopping products on which buyers in France spent the greatest amounts. Items were selected at the four-digit Harmonized System tariff classification code level and are presented from highest to lowest total amounts.

The percentages displayed to the right of each product name reveal the highest increases or decreases in French spending on that specific type of shopping product from 2019 to 2020.

  1. Cars: US$36,476,373,000 (down -5.2%)
  2. Automobile parts/accessories: $12,864,926,000 (down -22.6%)
  3. Phones: $12,035,865,000 (up 2.1%)
  4. Computers, optical readers: $10,339,608,000 (up 9.9%)
  5. Miscellaneous textile items: $7,019,018,000 (up 904.6%)
  6. Trucks: $6,137,794,000 (down -14.7%)
  7. Miscellaneous furniture: $4,438,151,000 (down -5.2%)
  8. Insulated wire/cable: $3,962,008,000 (down -18.3%)
  9. Cases, handbags, wallets: $3,630,139,000 (down -18.6%)
  10. Orthopedic appliances: $3,603,700,000 (down -2.2%)
  11. Footwear (leather): $3,410,866,000 (down -11.2%)
  12. Seats (not barber/dentist chairs): $3,255,421,000 (down -14.8%)
  13. Women’s clothing (not knit/crochet): $3,127,003,000 (down -14%)
  14. Rubber tires (new): $3,095,978,000 (down -13.5%)
  15. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $2,934,254,000 (down -8.2%)
  16. Tractors: $2,872,666,000 (down -25.5%)
  17. Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet): $2,771,187,000 (down -13%)
  18. Printing machinery: $2,730,530,000 (down -14.7%)
  19. Electrical converters/power units: $2,367,095,000 (up 2.3%)
  20. Footwear (textile): $2,332,788,000 (down -6.8%)
  21. Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys: $2,163,640,000 (down -3.9%)
  22. T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet): $2,153,190,000 (down -10.2%)
  23. Packaged insecticides, herbicides: $2,133,342,000 (up 6.6%)
  24. Miscellaneous iron or steel items: $2,027,335,000 (down -12.9%)
  25. Paper containers, cellulose wadding: $1,911,665,000 (up 0.1%)
  26. Motorcycles: $1,896,100,000 (up 2.8%)
  27. Men’s suits (unknit/non-crochet): $1,849,016,000 (down -16.1%)
  28. Computer parts, accessories: $1,495,055,000 (up 18.8%)
  29. Screws, bolts, washers, hooks, pins: $1,481,680,000 (down -14.6%)
  30. Video console games, table games: $1,425,298,000 (down -1.1%)
  31. Footwear (rubber or plastic): $1,422,509,000 (down -13.6%)
  32. Unrecorded sound media: $1,415,334,000 (down -8.9%)
  33. Women’s clothing (knit or crochet): $1,311,485,000 (down -8.5%)
  34. Sports equipment: $1,298,308,000 (up 0.9%)
  35. Glass bottles, other containers: $1,280,745,000 (up 1.9%)
  36. Microphones/headphones/amplifiers: $1,255,931,000 (up 1%)
  37. Wrist/pocket watches (regular case): $1,220,191,000 (down -19.7%)
  38. Trailers: $1,177,230,000 (down -11.4%)
  39. Felt or other non-woven garments: $1,150,013,000 (up 80.1%)
  40. Hot-rolled iron/non-alloy steel items: $1,128,701,000 (down -27.9%)
  41. Women’s coats (unknit/non-crochet): $1,066,902,000 (down -13.4%)
  42. Linens: $912,615,000 (down -9.7%)
  43. Vulcanized rubber items: $856,877,000 (down -12.5%)
  44. Motorcycle parts/accessories: $814,192,000 (down -9%)
  45. Miscellaneous aluminum items: $770,954,000 (down -15.7%)
  46. Sanitary towels, baby napkins/liners: $754,199,000 (down -0.8%)
  47. Printed books, brochures: $742,098,000 (down -3.2%)
  48. Mattresses, quilts: $741,616,000 (down 0%)
  49. Yachts, canoes, row boats: $707,816,000 (down -17.5%)

Focusing on the scope of this analysis, shopping products is France’s most popular category ahead of both convenience products and speciality items.

Shopping products representing roughly half (49) of the overall top 100 French imported consumer goods.

Durable consumer products are goods like cars, refrigerators and furniture that last a relatively long time. Consumers can put durable products to use again and again. Note that shopping products and speciality products are considered as durable consumer products.

France’s Most Valuable Imported Speciality Products

Speciality products represent the category with the fewest entries among France’s imports that attracted the country’s spending on imported consumer goods during 2020.

Selected at the four-digit Harmonized System tariff classification code level, the most valuable speciality items are listed in descending order below.

The percentage to the right of each product name reveal highest increases or decreases in 2020 compared to 2019.

  1. Jewelry: US$3,216,830,000 (down -38.2%)
  2. Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $2,862,660,000 (no change)
  3. Electric storage batteries: $2,517,923,000 (up 0.6%)
  4. Liquid pumps: $2,000,887,000 (down -12.2%)
  5. Air conditioners: $1,922,041,000 (down -0.6%)
  6. Beauty/makeup/skin care: $1,700,858,000 (down -14.7%)
  7. Dishwashing, clean/dry/fill machines: $1,473,213,000 (down -6.4%)
  8. Gold (unwrought): $1,232,869,000 (up 13.5%)
  9. Household base metal mountings: $1,215,678,000 (down -20.1%)
  10. Temperature-change machines: $1,096,852,000 (down -7%)
  11. Nitrogenous fertilizers: $1,004,853,000 (down -12.3%)
  12. Vacuum cleaners: $777,553,000 (up 1%)
  13. Compasses, other navigational aids: $731,061,000 (down -22%)

Like shopping products, speciality products are considered as durable consumer products.

Based on the product types identified in the sections above, 62 of France’s 100 highest-value consumer shopper plus speciality products are durable while the remaining 38 convenience products are classified as non-durable.

France’s Overall Fastest-Growing Consumer Imports

Listed below are the top 10 consumer products imported into France that experienced the highest percentage increases in spending from 2019 to 2020.

  1. Miscellaneous textile items: Up 904.6% ($7 billion)
  2. Felt or other non-woven garments: Up 80.1% ($1.15 billion)
  3. Fresh or dried citrus fruit: Up 21.5% ($1.4 billion) 
  4. Computer parts or accessories: Up 18.8% ($1.5 billion)
  5. Medications: Up 15.7% ($18.2 billion)
  6. Gold: Up 13.5% ($1.2 billion)
  7. Miscellaneous fresh or chilled vegetables: Up 11.6% ($1.1 billion)
  8. Pasta, couscous: Up 9.9% ($780.1 million)
  9. Computers including optical readers: Up 9.9% ($10.3 billion)
  10. Preserved or prepared fish including caviar: Up 8.2% ($1 billion)

Among the above top 10 gainers, 5 qualify as durable goods that consumers can re-use over time. Four of those durable items are shopping products including miscellaneous textile items, felt or other non-woven garments, computer parts or accessories and computers including optical readers. The fastest-growing specialty product is gold which also satisfies the technical definition for durable goods.

The fastest-growing convenience products are fresh or dried citrus fruits, medications, miscellaneous fresh and chilled vegetables, pasta and couscous, and preserved or otherwise prepared fish and caviar. Consumers consider these items as non-durable products, commonly referred to as disposable goods that normally are used only once.

France’s Overall Worst-Declining Consumer Imports

Spending by buyers in France on the following 10 items decreased in value at the severest rate from 2019 to 2020.

  1. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: Down -47.3% ($866.6 million)
  2. Jewelry: Down -38.2% ($3.2 billion)
  3. Processed petroleum oils: Down -31.6% ($16.4 billion)
  4. Items made from hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel: Down -27.9% ($1.1 billion)
  5. Tractors: Down -25.5% ($2.9 billion)
  6. Automobile parts or accessories: Down -22.6% ($12.9 billion)
  7. Butter: Down -22.5% ($827.7 million)
  8. Compasses, other navigational aids: Down -22% ($731.1 million)
  9. Household base metal items: Down -20.1% ($1.2 billion)
  10. Wrist or pocket watches with regular case: Down -19.7% ($1.2 billion)

Three among France’s top 10 declining imports are non-durable convenience products consumed one time. These are the fuel items coal including solid fuels made from coal, processed petroleum oils and butter.

Four among the remaining major import decliners are shopping products that normally require more time for consumers to make buying decisions. Purchases under the shopping products category are more likely to be deferred than convenience products. Examples of these shopping goods range from tractors to wrist or pocket watches with a regular case.

The 3 speciality products among France’s severest decliners were jewelry, compasses and other navigational aids, and household base metal mountings.

Key Suppliers by Country

This analysis reveals competitive suppliers that target French demand for its top 5 consumer import products.

For France, the biggest imported consumer product by value is cars. The 4 other leading consumer products imported into France are medications, refined petroleum oils, automobile parts or accessories, and phones including smartphones.

Below, you will find major supplying countries for France’s imported:

Cars: Spain (21.8% of total), Germany (16.8%), Slovakia (8.6%), Turkey (5.7%), Italy (4.5%), Czech Republic (4.4%), Japan (3.9%), Morocco (3.8%), United Kingdom (also 3.8%), and Belgium (3.1%).

Medications: Germany (14.8% of total), Italy (13%), Ireland (12.0%), United States (11.2%), Switzerland (6.79%), Greece (6.5%), United Kingdom (4.3152%), Spain (3.8%), Netherlands (3.7%), and Sweden (3.4%).

Refined petroleum oils: Russia (17.9% of total), Belgium (12.8%), Netherlands (10.4%), Saudi Arabia (9.2%), Spain (7.9%), United States (6.4%), Germany (5%), Italy (3.6%), United Arab Emirates (3.4%), and Algeria (2.5%).

Automobile parts or accessories: Germany (25.4% of total), Spain (10.2%), Italy (8.7%), Czech Republic (6.3%), Belgium (5.9%), Poland (5.7%), China (4.7%), United Kingdom (3.7%), Sweden (3.2%), and Netherlands (3.1%).

Phones: China (54.7% of total), Vietnam (10.9%), Netherlands (4.6%), United States (4.1%), Germany (3%), Tunisia (2.3%), Ireland (2.1%), Taiwan (1.7%), United Kingdom (also 1.7%), and Mexico (1.3%).

See also

More great research: France’s Main Imports by Top Supplier Countries, China’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, US Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, Japan’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, Germany’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products


Independent insights and analysis presented in this article are based on researched facts and statistics sourced from the following educational portals.

BoyceWire, Consumer Goods Definition.

Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: France Economy.

International Trade Centre, Trade Map.

Investopedia, Consumer Goods, Consumer Staples Definition, Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).

Richest Country Reports, Top 100 Richest Countries by GDP.

Trading Economics, France Consumer Spending.

Wikipedia, List of largest consumer markets.

World’s Top Exports, France’s Top 10 Imports.

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