The French food industry is looking hard at changing tastes. For one thing, statistics that show food expenditures in France have dropped to 20 percent of consumer spending -- against a much higher percentage figure in the '60s and '70 s. For another, other-country food processors are making inroads against old-time standbys (frozen foods against canned goods).
And France, whose annual food sales of $60 billion lead all of Europe, has set out to bolster the whole industry by aiming to get a new share of business from the world of exports. It has established a ministry to work with domestic food processors in which direct government subsidies will be available for increased export performance. Companies that can double their exports over a three- to five- year period will become eligible. Prospective qualifiers are required to develop forecasts, plus a solid and specific plan to meet goals.