France: Father’s Day Shopping Trends

As French families are about to celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, British and French brands are rolling out their Father’s Day campaigns and offers ahead of Sunday 19th June. Here are a few things you need to know about la fête des pères.

When is Father’s Day in France?

Country When? 2016 Date
France Third Sunday of June 19th June 2016
Canada (Québec) Third Sunday of June 19th June 2016
Belgium Second Sunday of June 12th June 2016
Switzerland First Sunday of May (except in Canton of Tessin) 5th June 2016

In France, Father’s Day is the brainchild of Marcel Quercia from Flaminaire, a lighter manufacturer from Brittany. The company – which, sadly, is no longer around – established la fête des pères in 1950 to boost sales. Their first ad was an incentive for children to buy a lighter for their dad on this special occasion. It worked a treat – let’s just say it wouldn’t be as well received these days! In 1952, it was decided that Father’s Day would fall on the third Sunday of June in France.

Father’s Day is fairly new in Switzerland and isn’t widely celebrated as it only entered the Swiss calendar in 2007. It should be noted that the Italian-speaking Canton of Tessin (or Ticino) celebrates Father’s Day on 19th March, just like Italy. There the origins of Father’s Day are rooted in the Christian calendar as 19th March is also Saint Joseph’s Day – husband of the Virgin Mary.

Regional differences matter. Having a native marketer or copywriter at your side greatly helps with understanding cultural and local specificities. Please fill in the contact form to tell me more about your French content needs.


Father’s Day Shopping Trends

In 2013 PriceMinister Rakuten created an insightful infographic comparing the average spend for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in several countries. This infographic reveals that France was the only country surveyed where consumers spent an equal amount for both parents – with an average spend of €40. The results of the survey also reported that Brazilians and Americans weren’t afraid to splurge when it came to their mums, as their average spend exceeded €100.

The trend remained more or less the same the following year, as reported in a Toluna/LSA survey from April 2014. French consumers spent an average of €52.57 on gifts for their mother vs €49.98 for their father.

The infographic below uses data from a June 2015 survey from Toluna and LSA to reveal what French dads really want. Last year’s most desired gifts included fragrances and cosmetics, wine and alcohol, tablets, phones, and watches.

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