Summary of our market study

The French foie gras market is estimated at between €1 and €1.5 billion.

The global foie gras market is dominated by France, the world's leading producer, consumer and exporter. It was valued at 1.17 billion USD in 2020 and should reach 1.35 billion USD by 2028, with an average annual growth rate of 1.8%.

Europe accounts for over 90% of foie gras production.

In France, despite ethical concerns over production methods and potential regulatory changes.

Seasonal consumption peaks during the festive season

The sector employs over 50,000 people and generates sales of 4 billion euros in the EU.

In 2020, production volume fell due to the bird flu epidemic and the Covid-19 crisis

The French trade balance remains in surplus by 24 million euros.

French market leaders are primarily agricultural cooperatives with a significant market share, followed by private agrifood groups and independent SMEs and VSEs.

Average consumer prices vary widely depending on the type of foie gras. Duck foie gras accounts for 95% of total production, and goose foie gras for 5%.

The foie gras market is characterized by numerous labels and controls. It is part of France's gastronomic heritage.

French market dynamics

The consumption of foie gras in France is a time-honored tradition. Demand for this luxury food product is closely linked to cultural celebrations. Foie gras is a festive product, and its consumption continues to grow. Some 40% of households consume foie gras. Average purchase frequency remains stable at around 1.6 times a year.

Sales in France peak during the festive season, with nearly 70% of French people citing foie gras as an essential product for a successful Christmas dinner. Consumption is in the region of 525 to 545 grams per purchasing household. Over 90% of foie gras production comes from the European Union, with France the leading producer and consumer, followed by Hungary and Bulgaria.

French production alone represents a volume of 18,000 to 19,000 tons

Due to the high cost of the products, the foie gras market is strongly impacted by economic downturns.

French foie gras is mainly distributed through supermarkets and hypermarkets, which control around 70% of distribution. The predominance of these distribution channels underpins the accessibility of foie gras to the general public.

The market faces challenges linked to ethical considerations and animal welfare concerns, in particular the practice of force-feeding. As a result, around a third of the French population refrains from buying foie gras for ethical reasons.

Producers and distributors are focusing on quality, transparency and even exploring "organic" foie gras.

Dominant producers and niche artisans

  • The Maïsadour and Euralis cooperatives are very present with their brands (Delpeyrat, Comtesse du Barry, Rougié, Montfort)
  • Jean Larnaudie (LCA Holding)
  • Valette Foie Gras
  • Feyel Artzner,
  • Valette Foie Gras
  • PassionFroid (Groupe Pomona) is an air-conditioning distributor
  • Major supermarket chains also offer private label products, making foie gras accessible to a wider public.
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1 Market overview

1.1 Market overview and definition

Foie gras is a specialty food product made from the liver of a duck or goose. Under French law, foie gras is defined as the liver of a duck or goose fattened by force-feeding corn through a feeding tube, a process also known as gavage. Ducks are force-fed twice a day for 12.5 days, and geese three times a day for around 17 days. Ducks are generally slaughtered at 100 days and geese at 112 days. In Spain and other countries, foie gras is sometimes produced using natural feed[Artisanfarmers].

Foie gras is one of the jewels in the crown of French gastronomy. It is traditionally eaten during the festive season. The foie gras market in France is structured around the processing and marketing of foie gras from palmipeds, mainly ducks and secondarily geese. It brings together palmiped breeders, specialized/general slaughterhouses and food processing companies that transform and package the livers into finished products.

France is by far the world's leading producer, consumer and exporter of foie gras. National production accounts for a very large share of European and even world production. However, the foie gras market faces a number of challenges: image and animal health, limiting its growth potential for years to come.

French foie gras production remained stable during the first half of the 2010s, before falling between 2016 and 2017. The following years were marked by production growth, which was quickly curbed by the health crisis.

It's also a concentrated market, dominated by a handful of agricultural cooperatives present across the entire sector. A few private groups occupy a secondary position. The remainder of production is dispersed among small, highly fragmented artisanal manufacturers.

The foie gras market is highly seasonal. As mentioned above, the majority of foie gras sales by the market's leading brands take place between November and December, during the festive season. However, the market's dynamism also relies on the ability of players to stimulate sales throughout the year, for example at catered events (corporate events, weddings, etc.)

1.2 The global foie gras market

Key figures for the world market

The foie gras market is mainly concentrated in Europe, the USA and China. However, the growing availability of foie gras is making it a popular dish in more and more parts of the world. Foie gras is considered a luxury ingredient, although foie gras produced ...

1.3 The foie gras market in France

Key market figures for France

In ****, France's production of goose and duck liver preparations and preserves totaled **,*** tons in volume[***]. In ****, France exported **% of its production, generating foreign sales of ** million euros.

Main export customer countries France, ****, in Source: ****

To meet domestic demand, *,*** tonnes of foie gras were imported in ****, up ...

1.4 The impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the foie gras market

Foie gras did not enjoy a strong resilience to the Covid-**-induced health crisis. Indeed, Michel Fruchet, President of the Centre Interprofessionnel du Foie Gras, said: "With restaurants closed and no foreign customers in Paris for the whole summer of ****, consumption is down by **-**%. The cancellation of numerous events, and ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Demand for foie gras in France

French foie gras consumption

In ****, * out of ** French people will be eating foie gras. [***]

The majority (***) of foie gras is purchased as a semi-cooked product.

Foie gras purchase format France, ****, in % [FranceAgriMer Source: ****

Foie gras, a quality product that inspires confidence

For **% of French people, the "Foie Gras de France" logo ...

2.2 Seasonal consumption

The graph below shows the proportion of searches for the term "foie gras" in France, in relation to when it was most searched for (***). In recent years, demand has been highly cyclical, peaking at Christmas and New Year.

Evolution of interest for the search "foie gras" on Google France, ****-****, in ...

2.3 Producers face growing ethical concerns

This is one of the main drivers of the foie gras market in France. Households are the main purchasers of foie gras. Scientific reports, pleas from environmental or animal rights NGOs, or certain journalistic investigations are likely to have a significant and lasting impact on sales. Indeed, as the graphs below ...

3 Market structure

3.1 A production system concentrated in three regions

The foie gras production value chain

Source: ****

Geographical distribution of foie gras production

French foie gras production is based on foie gras palmiped farms, which are concentrated in three French regions: southwestern France (***) and Alsace. After the breeders, the next step in the value chain is the slaughterhouses and processing plants ...

3.2 A French market dominated by agricultural cooperatives

In ****, France will have no fewer than *,*** foie gras producers. The market is dominated by agricultural cooperatives with a broad portfolio of brands, which together account for over **% of the sector's total sales.

Other players, in order of importance, include

a few subsidiaries of mass retail groups producing foie gras for ...

3.3 Different distribution channels

The majority of national foie gras consumption is channeled through supermarket networks. In ****, *,*** tonnes were sold in hypermarkets and supermarkets, down *.*% on the previous year. For the **** festive season, supermarket sales were down **.*% in volume compared to the **** season, but only *% in value. This shows that the segment is holding up ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Typology and labels

Different products

Raw foie gras accounts for **% of supermarket sales, and processed foie gras (***) for **%.

Raw foie gras must still be cooked, prepared and seasoned within a week of purchase. It comes in three qualities: "extra", "premier choix" and "tout venant". Fresh foie gras has been lightly cooked (***) and is sold ...

4.2 Price ranges by segment type

The average consumer price of foie gras depends primarily on the type of palmiped from which the liver comes. Duck foie gras accounts for **% of total national production[***]. More expensive goose foie gras accounts for only *%. In fact, geese are more expensive to raise and force-feed than ducks.

The price then ...

4.3 New trends: foie gras without force-feeding

New ways to make foie gras

It's considered one of France's finest delicacies, but also one of its most controversial. Traditionally, foie gras is made by force-feeding geese to fatten their livers, a process described as cruel by animal rights groups. Today, however, French scientists have developed an alternative production method ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Controlling the composition of foie gras

As foie gras is an integral part of France's gastronomic and cultural heritage, it enjoys de facto legal protection as regards its composition and origin. The definition of foie gras-based products is set out in Decree no. **-*** of August *, **** on foie gras-based preparations à base de foie gras communicated by the ...

5.2 Designations and controls

Where foie gras comes from

Protected Geographical Indication (***). "Canard à foie gras du Sud-Ouest" has been in force since ****. According to European regulations, duck foie gras must weigh more than ***g.

A decree of December **, ****, amending the decree of August *, ****, introduced a mutual recognition clause. Foie gras preparations manufactured or marketed in ...

5.3 World customs nomenclature and harmonized system

The Harmonized System is an international nomenclature for product classification. It enables participating countries to classify traded goods on a common basis for customs purposes. At international level, the Harmonized System (***) for the classification of goods is a six-digit code system. [***]

The HS comprises around *,*** item/product descriptions, which appear as ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation

  • Valette Foie Gras
  • Feyel Artzner
  • Conserverie artisanale Larroque
  • Castel Foie gras
  • Arcady’s Restauration
  • Duperier et fils
  • Labeyrie
  • Jean Larnaudie Groupe
  • AFG Foie Gras
  • Pomona Groupe (Passion Froid)
  • Comtesse du Barry
  • Lou Castelou
  • Pierre Laguilhon
  • Euralis
  • Delpeyrat
  • Maïsadour
  • Maison Biraben
  • Pré aux Canards
  • GODARD-CHAMBON ET MARREL
  • Maison Dubernet (Groupe Bertrand)
  • Lafitte Foie Gras
  • Maison Montfort
  • LE VIEUX CHENE
  • Ernest Soulard
  • Maison Dandieu
  • Maison Sudreau
  • Maison Paris
  • Les Délices de Saint-Orens, Ferme de Jeansarthe
  • Grolière
  • Foie Gras Luxe - Foie Gras & Co
  • Foie Gras Gourmet
  • Euralis Gastronomie - Rougie Fois Gras
  • Cavac Coopérative groupe

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Breakdown of foie gras production
  • Size of the foie gras market
  • Foie gras production per animal
  • Trends in consumption of duck and goose foie gras
  • How to buy foie gras
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Latest news

Cavac creates a foie gras branch - 27/12/2023
  • The Vendée-based cooperative group has just integrated another of its local cooperatives, Val de Sèvre, which specializes in duck for foie gras, magret and confits, exclusively for Delpeyrat.
  • Val de Sèvre, which specializes in duck for foie gras, magret and confits, generated sales of €74 million in 2019.
  • Val de Sèvre's sales fell to 34.6 million euros this year.
  • Cavac, another player in the foie gras industry, has forecast sales of 1.2 billion euros for 2023.
  • The 115 farmers of the Val de Sèvre cooperative produced 600,000 head of duck this year, compared with 2.8 million in the middle of the previous decade.
  • With the acquisition of other cooperatives and a grain trader, the Cavac group has added 190 million euros to its sales.
Labeyrie to close its Boulogne-sur-Mer plant - 25/11/2023
  • At the end of October, Labeyrie's plant in Boulogne-sur-Mer (Pas-de-Calais), which has been in operation since 2013, announced its intention to cease operations for good.
  • Specialized in the manufacture of sushi for the supermarket sector
  • Market downturn and a decline in sales of over 60% between 2020 and 2022.
  • An accumulation of difficulties
  • A fire in 2019 ravaged the production workshop
  • Labeyrie, headquartered in the Landes region of France, employs 2,300 people in France.
Cavac Biomatériaux's hemp insulation driven by decarbonization of the building industry - 19/09/2023
  • Cavac The La Roche-sur-Yon-based agri-food cooperative Cavac grows only 2,000 hectares of hemp in the Vendée and Deux-Sèvres regions
  • 200.000 hectares of potential cultivation
  • Cavac Biomatériaux (60 employees) 23 million euros by June 30, 2023, transforms 15,000 tons of flax and hemp straw into insulating materials every year, and distributes its Biofib product to all retail outlets.
  • A new 12,000 m2 plant is currently under construction in Sainte-Hermine, tripling the company's capacity.
  • The investment represents 27 million euros.
  • The AICB is the association representing French manufacturers producing materials for the construction market from plant biomass (wood, hemp, flax, straw, grass, etc.), animal biomass (sheep's wool) or recycling channels (paper, textiles).
  • According to the AICB, the global market share of biobased insulation has almost doubled, rising from 6% to 11% in less than ten years.

Ernest Soulard reinvents his poultry farm - 15/09/2023
  • 5 months of total production shutdown at Ernest Soulard
  • 3 million euros investment in renovation
  • 250 partner poultry farmers
  • Loss of 1.2 million ducks, i.e. 75% of the flock
  • Loss of business estimated at around one-third of sales by 2022
  • Sales of 100 million euros in 2019
Foie gras: Maïsadour and Euralis abandon plans to merge - 04/09/2023
  • Euralis and Maïsadour intended to merge their activities in the foie gras sector.
  • The French competition authority (Autorité de la Concurrence) has opened an in-depth review of the transaction in 2022.
  • The two cooperatives own four major brands: Delpeyrat and Comtesse Dubarry for Maïsadour, and Maison Montfort and Rougié for Euralis.
  • A third cooperative, Lur Berri with its Labeyrie brand, is considered to be a competitor of comparable size.
  • More than 20 million ducks were slaughtered last year due to various avian flu pandemics.
  • Foie gras production was forecast at 12,000 tonnes in 2021, compared with almost 20,000 tonnes in normal times.
  • Each company is owned by around 5,000 farmer-members, and each employs around 1,000 people in its respective subsidiary: Euralis Gastronomie and Delpeyrat for Maïsadour.
Foie gras producers shaken by repeated crises - 25/08/2023
  • Labeyrie is the leader in volume (22% market share) and value (30%) in the foie gras sector.
  • Ducs de Gascogne's foie gras business has fallen from 20% to 10% since 2017
  • Historic 33% drop in foie gras production by 2022
  • The Gers département accounts for 10% of foie gras volumes
  • Pays de la Loire supplies 70% of ducklings to French breeders
  • Almost 70% of foie gras sales take place in November and December
  • 400.000 ducks to go missing following the resurgence of avian influenza in May
  • One million palmipeds slaughtered since May due to return of avian influenza
  • Almost 90% of duck breeding stock decimated by avian flu crisis
  • Sales of Canards d'Auzan down from 80 to 55 million euros in 2022
  • Lafitte's volumes halved in 2022, bringing sales down to 19 million euros from 30 million in 2021

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. :

Valette Foie Gras
Feyel Artzner
Conserverie artisanale Larroque
Castel Foie gras
Arcady’s Restauration
Duperier et fils
Labeyrie
Jean Larnaudie Groupe
AFG Foie Gras
Pomona Groupe (Passion Froid)
Comtesse du Barry
Lou Castelou

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