I cannot speak for France, but I have been playing Italy in a multiplayer setting and I am doing quite well with a smart mixture between a mercantilist and an export-oriented economy. It just means playing to your country's strengths. Italy and France have a lot of food resources, including some for common goods (like wine) that you can develop more strongly than other countries. You should also get some national modifiers that help you along (Germany and Austria for example have bonus producing industrial goods, like manufactured goods, machined items, chemicals, etc.).
While not as productive as in other countries, I have focused on luxury and textile goods, which are always in demand abroad and bring in a pretty penny, together with food, which is not a high value added good (until you get fertilisers), but when sold on mass provide a solid backdrop to develop your industry (which is how I developed Italy).
As for your question if you ever get to fully satisfy your nation's demand for goods, it all depends on the technologies that increase it and how much you focus on specific items. Do not forget that you can adjust consumption in the F4 screen. For goods that you are lacking in, decrease it to 5%, find sellers abroad and set up commercial agreements in Latin America and Asia that allow you to build farms or mines (just be certain that you have relations at at least 25, otherwise they might take your buildings away from you). Plus, as a colonial power, you can quickly set up colonies that fulfil your needs. The Golden Coast can provide you with much needed gold and Arab countries with opium, coffee, gems and oil.