FIRM DEMAND FOR BREAKFAST FOOD IN FRANCE.

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Growth in breakfast food sales in France have outpaced those in the remainder of the Eurozone. In part, this is linked to a well-established habit of taking the time to eat a full breakfast.

In an effort to make a medium- to long-term dent in the cost of medical expenses, the government of France has engaged in a healthy eating campaign that focuses on the importance of starting out the day with a solid breakfast. Increased awareness of the importance of a high-fiber diet has boosted demand for breakfast cereals. Year-on-year growth in sales of healthy cereals topped 20 percent during the second quarter of this year, and double-digit sales gains should persist through at least the first half of 2005.

Demand for children's cereals has grown at a particularly fast pace, registering an increase of 50 percent year-on-year during the first half of 2004.

Although more French children are eating whole grain cereals than ever before, sales of sugary cereals have also reached new heights. Sweet cereals that have experienced the strongest sales increases this year are the chocolate flavored brands. To a degree, the strong demand for those products is attributable to recent reports indicating the cocoa is beneficial to the health.

Although breakfast eating habits of children through the age of 10 reflect changing preferences of their parents, that pattern does not hold true...

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