For the second year running, frozen food chain Picard is the favoured brand of the French, according to a survey by consulting firm OC&C.

"/> For the second year running, frozen food chain Picard is the favoured brand of the French, according to a survey by consulting firm OC&C.

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Picard, Amazon, Ikea: France’s favourite brands

For the second year running, frozen food chain Picard is the favoured brand of the French, according to a survey by consulting firm OC&C.

In second place is the online retailer Amazon, followed by Swedish furniture giant Ikea. Cosmetics company Yves Rocher and electronics and book retailer FNAC complete the top five.

The survey, conducted among 5,000 people in France, found that while Picard is seen as expensive, the quality and range of its products as well as the ease of shopping in its stores gave it the edge.

The survey found that low prices are not a guarantee of popularity with consumers valuing quality and range.

“The leaders in each sector are rarely those that win on price,” said the survey report.

The discount retailer Lidl,had the dubious honour of being the brand that lost most ground in this year’s survey, falling to 62nd place in the table.

Established supermarkets have upped their game to compete with discount stores, according to the report, “by improving their prices and with neighbourhood stores and new, more attractive concepts.”

Bottom spots in the table were taken by furniture store BUT (63rd), opticians ATOL (64th), supermarket chain Casino (64th) and, in last place, sports accessories store Sport 2000.

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French government: All athletes must be vaccinated to compete in France

All athletes and sports professionals who wish to compete in France will have to be vaccinated against Covid-19, government sources told AFP on Monday.

Unvaccinated tennis star Novak Djokovic
Unvaccinated tennis star Novak Djokovic. Photo: Oscar del Polzo/AFP

The French parliament has just given the go-ahead for the health pass to be converted into a vaccine pass, which means that anyone wishing to enter leisure and cultural venues – including sports grounds and stadiums – will have to be vaccinated.

This goes for the crowd, but also professional sports players and staff. The government has indicated that exemptions will not be made athletes who are based outside France.

The ministry said a new vaccine pass, “applies to everyone, to volunteers and to elite sportspeople, including those coming from abroad, until further notice.”

READ ALSO What changes when France’s health pass becomes a vaccine pass

Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu said last week that certain events like the French Open could have a special exemption, when asked whether Novak Djokovic could play in the tournament, but this appears now to not be the case.

Questions had been asked about whether the unvaccinated Djokivic – recently deported from Australia – would be able to play in the French Open in May, but the ruling would affect all visiting sports professionals, including rugby teams from England, Ireland and Italy who are due to play in France during the Six Nations tournament in February and March.

Until now a health pass has been sufficient to enter sports grounds, which means unvaccinated players and fans were able to use a negative Covid test.

However once the vaccine pass enters into effect – scheduled to be later this week – only proof of vaccination will be affected.

French domestic sports teams were given the choice of either making sure that all their players and staff were fully vaccinated or playing behind closed doors.

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