French outdoor fans


Barbecues, picnics and gardening are among the favourite activities of the French when the weather returns.

The sun is coming back and so are our desires for nature! According to a survey by TNS Sofres for Campingaz*, the French are more than ever addicted to outdoor activities.

Barbecue comes out on top  : more than 3 out of 4 French people enjoy the joys of grilling.

Next comes the picnic (62%), then gardening which is the passion of 55% of the French. Next the hike (48%), the campsite (31%) and water sports (25%).

So many activities associated with the search for nature, pleasure and freedom, but also conviviality and health.

The outdoors, a story of family and friendships

Generally speaking, outdoor leisure activities are mostly practised by families with children: 88% of parents barbecue and 76% picnic, compared to 67% and 53% respectively of people without children.

The barbecue is practiced with family or friends, usually with these gentlemen behind the grill. As good “tribal chiefs”, 80% of the men say they are in charge of the grill. During the picnics, the men take care of the corkscrews and matches, while the women take care of the comfort, they are the first to think of glasses and folding chairs. French picnics are therefore comfortable… but not yet totally eco-friendly!

66% of those who eat lunch on the grass use disposable towels, plates and cutlery, even though almost all of them say they take care not to leave any waste in the environment.

Vegetable garden and gardening

Gardening is one of the passions that are developing the most in France. A survey BVA for Gamm Vert reveals that growing vegetables is seen as a pleasure for 91% of French people. Gardening is a fashionable activity that is constantly gaining new followers: 31% of the French own a vegetable garden in their garden, 17% on their terrace or balcony, and more than one vegetable garden in four is less than five years old.

Gardening is seen as a way to relax, but also as a way to “do it yourself”: harvesting your own fruit, vegetables and herbs to eat healthy and regain the taste of food. A trend that is in line with the ecological but also economic concerns of our time, since 39% of French people, especially young people, see it as a way to save money.

*Second edition of the Observatoire des Loisirs en plein air, survey conducted in 2011 with a representative sample of 1,000 people.