Summary of our market study

In France, around 15 billion eggs are produced every year, generating sales in excess of 1.4 billion euros

The global egg market has seen significant trends since 2020, notably a shift towards the production and consumption of alternative eggs.

France is Europe's leading producer and its citizens consume more eggs than the European average, and there is a trend towards more sustainable practices that respect animal welfare. By 2020, France has reached its target of 50% alternative hen farming, and is moving away from caged eggs. The Covid-19 pandemic has further accelerated this trend, with sales of alternative eggs increasing to 65% of the total.

The sector's sales volumes during the pandemic rose by 15%, while the out-of-home catering sector suffered a 75% drop in activity during the first containment period.

The French egg industry was confronted with a trend towards overproduction due to reduced outlets in the catering sector.

The cost of poultry feed also rose sharply.

In supermarkets, private labels hold a dominant 43.3% market share by value, and major brands such as Matines plan to switch to 100% alternative eggs by 2025.

Growing production of alternative eggs in France

With annual per capita consumption still above the European average, at around 220 eggs, the French have shown a steadfast attachment to eggs in their diet.

Demand for eggs in France is not only significant in quantitative terms, but also in terms of quality. 95% of the French population is inclined to support a switch to alternative farming methods such as free-range and organic egg farming, as opposed to conventional cage-free options.

More than half of all eggs consumed come from cage-free farms. Consumers are also placing increasing emphasis on transparency and traceability of egg origin.

The production costs of these alternative eggs are significantly higher, sometimes more than twice those of standard eggs. This development is part of a wider trend in which French consumers are embracing products that are committed to ecological practices, nutritional benefits and animal welfare.

Players in the French egg market

  • Matines is a major player, well established and with a solid network of 300 partner breeders.

  • The independent brand L'Oeuf de Nos Villages enjoys a strong market presence.

  • The LDC group maintains its importance on the market thanks to two of its brands: Loué and Le Gaulois.

  • Cocorette (formerly Oeufs Nord Europe) is another name that resonates in the market landscape.

  • The Panzani group, through its Lustucru range, ensures a presence on the market ...

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

The study will focus only on eggs of poultry intended for food consumption and their derivatives, i.e. the egg products which are processed eggs.

In a a global market that has been growing for several decades, China dominates global production with 30% of production in 2018, compared to about 10% for the EU.

The market for eggs and egg products is very important in France with a average French consumption higher than the average European consumption.  France is the leading European producer of eggs for consumption, with a production which has been growing for several years. But other countries - such as Spain - have also experienced strong growth in recent years.

The French market is increasingly faced with changing demand expectations, both in terms of the origin of production (product traceability) and of the type of farming from which the eggs come (growing desire for alternative breeding solutions to the fitted cage). The French industry has thus organized itself in order to achieve 50% of alternative layer hen rearing (on the ground, organic or in the open air) - a target it has already reached in 2020.

1.2 Analysis of global and European markets

According to the FAO, the world egg consumption per capita has almost doubled since ****. Asia has contributed a lot to the growth of the market : over the last ** years, Asian production has increased fourfold, while world production has increased by a factor of *.*.

In ****, world production was estimated at ** million tonnes. ...

1.3 A growing French market

In France, ** billion eggs were produced in ****, for a turnover of producers of about *.* billion € according to ITAVI.

The number of eggs produced in France has been growing since **** as highlighted in the following graph :

Evolution of egg production (***) France, **** - ****, in billions Source: ****

1.4 Foreign trade analysis

Foreign trade in shell eggs

By taking the codes ********, ******** and ******** on Finance.gov, the following graphs show the number of eggs in shell, fresh, preserved or cooked, from domestic or backyard poultry.

Foreign trade is in deficit in terms of poultry eggs in shell for France with a coverage rate of ...

1.5 The impact of the Covid-19 crisis

Overall, the impact on the egg industry is mixed with :

In the retail sector, the impact is very positive : over the first * months of ****, sales volume increased by **.* compared to *% per year in recent years : proof of a strong increase in home consumption.

In out-of-home catering, the impact is very negative ...

2 Analysis of the demand

2.1 Eggs, a product appreciated by the French

Egg consumption in France :

According to a survey CSA, in ****, **% of French people eat eggs. This was *% more than in ****. This is the case for all age groups, as **% of children enjoy eggs. Thus, on average, *** eggs are consumed per year and per person in France in **** : the French therefore consume ...

2.2 Distribution of egg consumption

Home consumption of shell eggs, bought in shops, represents **% of egg consumption in France.

To simplify, the market is divided **/** between the sale of shell eggs to supermarkets and the sale of eggs to the food industry and the catering industry, in the form of egg products or shell eggs.

Egg ...

2.3 Purchase criteria and egg categories preferred by the French in stores

The main criteria for buying eggs are :

The way the hens are raised : **% of French people support the industry's transition to alternative livestock farming French origin : **% of consumers are committed to it in **** A third criterion, somewhat less important, is the laying date according to CNPO

Importance of the French origin ...

2.4 Evolution of the food industries and the food service industries consuming egg products

As seen in *.*, the food industry and the catering industry account for a little less than half of egg consumption in France, including :

**% in the form of egg products for the food service and food industry **% in the form of shell eggs for the catering industry

The food industries use ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Value chain of the egg industry in France

Simplified diagram of the value chain of the egg industry

France, ****

Source: ****

NB:

TEOC = Tonnes of Eggshell Equivalents Pullets = Future layers

3.2 Analysis of egg production (table eggs)

Egg producers can be :

Under contract with packaging centres (***) Self-employed the producers have their own packaging centre

The contracted share is the most important.

The packing centres ensure the integrity and conformity of the eggs to market standards, by sorting, grading and packing them.

There are also groups marketing eggs for ...

3.3 Analysis of egg distribution channels

**% of the French production is sold for home consumption of French households in shell eggs.

**% of the eggs are also processed into egg products, the rest is sold in shell form.

Marketing of eggs by distribution channel on the French market France, ****, in Source Franceagrimer NB: RHD = catering outside the ...

3.4 Analysis of processing into egg products

As seen in *.*, **% of eggs are processed into egg products.

According to Franceagrimer, in ****, ***,*** tons of egg products were manufactured in France: the eggs used are of various kinds :

table eggs with defects of size, visual surplus production of "table" eggs specific farms where eggs are intended for processing

Processing is ...

3.5 Segmentation and dynamics of players in the retail sector

In supermarkets, a market that is growing faster in value than in volume:

In ****, sales of eggs in supermarkets have increased by *.*% in volume and *.*% in value compared to **** This was driven by the growth in sales of eggs from farms other than cages.

Source: ****

Analysis of market share in the ...

4 Analysis of the offer

4.1 Typology of egg supply

Method of rearing laying hens and type of eggs : [***]

There are * types of breeding that result in * types of eggs

*) Organic farming (***) : Hens fed with organic food, with access to outdoor runs with vegetation. Indoors, the hens have nests, perches and food.

*) Free-range farming - including Label Rouge (***) : the ...

4.2 Evolution of the main costs and prices of eggs and egg products

Evolution of the main costs for the sector

Most of the time, cage farmers who want to switch to alternative systems have to invest in new buildings, requiring an average investment of ** to ** euros per hen.

The CNPO was estimating to *** million the amount of investment required, excluding the cost of ...

4.3 Major issues and trends in the egg industry

As the alternative egg becomes more common, brands need to focus on other areas to differentiate themselves.  

The importance of traceability and French origin : The Eggs of France logo was launched in ****, and since summer **** even extends to food products containing eggs in recipes.  

The "without": Brands are increasingly focusing on ...

5 Regulation

5.1 Regulations

Eggs are subject to regulations that ensure their traceability and set the applicable marketing standards.

There are * categories of eggs, as they are classified in the packing centres :

class A eggs are fresh eggs intended for consumers class B eggs are eggs delivered to industries

The eggs must also be labelled ...

6 Positioning of the actors

6.1 Segmentation

  • L'Œuf de nos Villages
  • Matines (Avril groupe)
  • Loeuf
  • LDC Groupe
  • Lustucru Frais (Pastacorp Group)
  • Cocorette Distribution
  • Eureden Group - d’Aucy
  • Le Gaulois (LDC groupe)
  • P'tit gone
  • Cocotine - D'Aucy France (Euroden groupe)
  • Fermiers D'Ancenis
  • Coquy Oeufs
  • Circul’egg

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Distribution of table egg production
  • Development of table egg production in the main European countries
  • Value of world trade in eggs and egg products
  • Evolution of egg production (from laying hens)
  • Frequency of egg consumption
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Latest news

LDC passes the €6 billion mark in sales - 30/05/2024
  • Sales: up 6% to 6.5 billion euros.
  • - Net income: strong growth to 304.4 million euros.
  • - Poultry consumption since 2000: up 36%.
  • - Poultry Division France :
    • - Sales: 4.4 billion euros.
    • - Growth: 5.9% overall, and 2.3% on a like-for-like basis.
  • - Catering division :
    • - Sales: 911.8 million euros.
    • - Growth: 10.2%. - Volume: up 1.1%.
Why chicken king LDC is betting big on the delicatessen department - 30/05/2024
  • LDC Group, known for its Loué, Maître Coq and Matines brands
  • Sales of 6.2 billion euros in 2023
  • The company has entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire 100% of the capital of Pierre Martinet, one of the market leaders in delicatessen salads and number one in tabbouleh.
  • This family-run business generates sales of 230 million euros,
  • The delicatessen division will exceed 1 billion euros in 2024, compared with 911 million in 2023.
  • Poultry consumption continues to grow in France, up 3.4% last year.
  • Leader in the poultry sector with 40% market share and sales of 4.4 billion in 2023
LDC ready to acquire caterer Pierre Martinet - 29/05/2024

Pierre Martinet

  • - Sales in 2023: €230 million
  • - Number of employees: 700
  • - Number of sites: 5
  • - Markets: France, international with notable development in Spain
  • - Activities: Delicatessen salads, seafood salads, delicatessen products, savoury pastries
  • - Brands: La Belle Henriette (acquired in 2010), Maison Randy (acquired in 1997)

- LDC :

  • - Sales for fiscal 2023-2024: €6.2 billion
  • - Number of sites: 102
  • - Number of employees: 25,000 Sectors: Poultry (Le Gaulois, Maître Coq, Loué, Doux), fresh and frozen delicatessen (Marie, Traditions d'Asie), in negotiations to acquire Pierre Martinet

- Self-service (LS) catering market:

  • - Sales in 2023: €8.5 bn, up 2.9
  • - Sales volume: down 3.1% according to Circana to end 2023
  • -lDC in negotiations with the industrial division of Les Mousquetaires for the takeover of Délices de Saint-Léonard (specialized in the manufacture of fresh and frozen pizzas, quiches, crêpes and tarts), announced for October 2023
  • - Takeover of Routhiau (fresh and frozen charcuterie and delicatessen) announced in January 2024
Loué poultry conquers the Polish market - 23/11/2023
  • LDC, France's leading poultry company
  • Acquisition of Poland's leading turkey producer, Indykpol, with Rolmex, a real estate investor, poultry exporter and wine distributor.
  • Poland is Europe's biggest turkey and chicken producer, exporting half of its poultry to the European Union
  • This operation will take LDC's total international business to over €1 billion by 2024, with total sales of over €6 billion.
  • The French company will then own 16 plants in Poland, with sales of 700 million euros
  • Indykpol achieved sales of 228 million euros in 2022, over 60% of which in the domestic market.
  • Poland
  • The aim is to establish the LDC model with poultry born, raised and processed locally, and to develop consumption with well-known brands such as Indykpol.
  • LDC set up in Poland twenty years ago
  • The devastating effects of bird flu are a thing of the recent past, and the vaccination of ducks has given new hope to the industry.
LDC negotiates the purchase of DSL (Délices de Saint Léonard), a plant in Morbihan, France - 23/11/2023
  • LDC is France's leading player in the poultry market.
  • LDC aims to acquire the Les Délices de Saint-Léonard (DSL) plant belonging to Agromousquetaires.
  • The aim of the acquisition is to increase its market share in the delicatessen business and consolidate its territorial coverage.
  • DSL is based in Theix-Noyalo (Morbihan) and is part of the Les Mousquetaires cooperative, which has some sixty plants in France.
  • By 2022, the LDC group's sales were set to reach 5.8 billion euros.
  • LDC employs 23,000 people and has around one hundred sites.
  • The DSL plant has a turnover of 50 million euros and 265 employees.
LDC ready to take over Délices de Saint-Léonard from Agromousquetaires - 12/10/2023
  • France's number-one poultry company is looking to diversify into catering.
  • The company has entered into exclusive negotiations with Agromousquetaires for the takeover of a site in Theix (Morbihan).
  • The site specializes in the manufacture of fresh and frozen pizzas, quiches, crêpes and tarts.
  • The plant also produces club and maxi sandwiches, fresh snacks and baguette sandwiches.
  • The brands produced by the plant are Fiorini, Monique Ranou, Claude Léger and Top Budget.
  • Plant sales are 50 million euros.
  • The plant employs 265 people.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

L'Œuf de nos Villages
Matines (Avril groupe)
Loeuf
LDC Groupe
Lustucru Frais (Pastacorp Group)
Cocorette Distribution
Eureden Group - d’Aucy
Le Gaulois (LDC groupe)
P'tit gone
Cocotine - D'Aucy France (Euroden groupe)
Fermiers D'Ancenis
Coquy Oeufs

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