The global meat market, valued at USD 838.3 billion in 2020, is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of +7% through 2025. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic influencing consumption patterns, with domestic consumption increasing by 7% in 2020 compared to a general downturn in previous years, international trade also experienced shifts. For instance, French meat exports remained stable in 2020, with pork exports increasing significantly to about $1.2 billion in 2020, reflecting a strong demand from markets like China and Japan.

France also observes a trade deficit, as evidenced by an overall 11.7% decrease in meat imports during the same period, with a noted preference for European-sourced imports. The pandemic bolstered online meat purchases, and household consumption of meat, particularly frozen meats, surged in the confinement periods. Nonetheless, consumption of meat outside the home suffered due to lockdowns and health regulations. In the French context, the meat industry maintains a steady performance with significant players such as Agrial, LDC, and Carrefour marking their presence in the market. Despite fluctuations in consumption habits and the growing interest in quality-certified meats (organic or red label), meat remains an integral component of the dietary preferences in France, particularly poultry for the younger demographic and red meats for those over 50.

Analyzing the Dynamics of Meat Consumption Trends in the French Market

The French market has exhibited strong and stable demand for meat products with a clear cultural inclination towards meat as a significant part of the traditional diet. Meat consumption in France has witnessed an evolution, with a shifting preference towards white meats, especially poultry, which now represents the most significant portion of the meat products purchased by households, at around 27%. Traditionally prominent red meats such as beef and pork still maintain a robust presence, with beef consumption showcasing resilience with figures around 13.2 thousand tons in 2020, marking a clear rebound from previous years. Pork has had a contrasting trajectory, as consumption volumes showed a decline but have since seen varying levels of demand.

Observing consumer profiles, those in the age bracket of 35 to 49 years predominantly favor poultry and rabbit meat, opting less for beef and pork. In contrast, older demographics, particularly those between 50 and 64 years and over 65, demonstrate a preference for red meats, with beef taking precedence over pork. The market is also characterized by an income-agnostic purchasing behavior where pork emerges as a popular choice across different income classes. Households in the lower middle income segment appear to dominate pork purchases, though the exact proportions may not significantly deviate from the distribution of French households across various income levels. This signifies that pork is accessible to a broad spectrum of consumers.

When considering family dynamics, families with children in middle school/high school and those with adult children were seen to consume more poultry and rabbit meats. In comparison, the consumption of beef and pork is more varied across different family life stages. The market size of the meat processing and preservation industry in France is estimated to be strong, increasing from around 34.5 billion euros to an estimated 37.1 billion in 2020.

French meat exports have remained fairly consistent, although specific categories like pork have seen a growth spurt, increasing from about 0.9 billion to 1.2 billion in 2020, indicating a diversified destination portfolio that includes European Union countries, China, and Japan. Considering imports, there has been an 11.7% reduction in 2020, with imports mostly originating from other European countries. The meat market also faced the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to increased home consumption with notable spikes during the lockdown periods. Online channels, in particular, surged in popularity.

Major Players Shaping the French Meat Market Landscape

The meat market in France is a significant segment within the larger agricultural and food industry, characterized by an array of influential players ranging from livestock breeders to meat processors and distributors. As the market trends and consumer preferences evolve, these key actors continue to redefine their roles and strategies to maintain and improve their positioning within the market.

  • One such player is Agrial, a renowned cooperative group with diversified agricultural and food-processing activities. This enterprise is known for its commitment to sustainable farming practices and supplying quality meat products among various other agrarian goods.
  • Another important name in the market is Terrena, a dynamic collective that takes pride in its cooperative business model and focuses on promoting innovative agricultural practices. Terrena has a substantial presence in the meat market, delivering fine-quality products across various meat categories.
  • Joining these cooperatives is Sodial, a prominent livestock breeders' collective whose expertise in animal husbandry ensures a consistent supply of quality meats essential for the meat processing industry.
  • In the specialized sector of pork meat, Cooperl ARC Atlantique stands out as an influential player. With a comprehensive approach to pig farming, Cooperl ARC Atlantique oversees production stages from breeder to distribution, maintaining high-quality standards throughout the pork meat supply chain.
  • The poultry market also has its set of significant actors with Terrena making a mark here as well. However, it shares the stage with the LDC group, a heavyweight in the poultry segment, known for its wide range of products that cater to consumer tastes and expectations. The LDC group's influence extends beyond production, as it also invests heavily in marketing and brand promotion, successfully positioning itself as a household name in France.
  • Maïsadour is another enterprise that has expanded its reach in the poultry market, integrating farming, processing, and distribution steps to serve its customer base efficiently with quality poultry offerings.
  • When it comes to beef and pork meat processing, Bigard is a name to note. With a longstanding reputation, Bigard specializes in both categories and has become synonymous with quality red meat products in France. On the distribution front, Carrefour leads the pack as one of the most recognizable supermarket chains, not only in France but also globally. With a vast network of retail stores, Carrefour plays a critical role in making a diverse range of meat products accessible to consumers.

Intermarché, Auchan, Leclerc, Carrefour and other supermarket giant, contributes significantly to the meat market through its extensive product offerings and competitive pricing, often appealing to a broad spectrum of consumers looking for both value and quality.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and presentation

The meat market refers to the markets for:

  • red meat (which includes beef, veal and pork) ;
  • white meat (which includes poultry meat).

The global meat market is doing well overall, as the market is expected to grow by 7% between 2021 and 2025. World production is also estimated at 337.2 million tons of carcass equivalent.

The French meat market also seems to be following the trend of the global market as it tends to grow year after year. There are many players in the meat market, including breeders such as Soodial, meat manufacturers such as the LDC group and distributors such as Carrefour.

The French are important consumers of meat. Indeed, nearly 5.7 million tons of meat are consumed each year. Meat occupies an important place in the eating habits of the French and is even described as being a "culturally important marker of the French diet".

However, for the last thirty years, meat consumption in France has tended to decreaseThere has been a change in consumption habits and in the type of meat consumed, due in particular to health scandals (mad cow disease, bird flu, meat of hidden origin and nature), to the awareness of the French to the impact on health ofat the same time, the French seem to turn more and more of their meat purchases towards organic or red label meat, considered by consumers as a guarantee of quality.

1.2 The world meat market

The global meat market was estimated to be worth USD ***.* billion in **** and is expected to grow at a CAGR of +*% over the period ****-****.

Global Meat Market Size World, ****-*****, in billion dollars Source: ****

Global meat production is estimated at ***.* MTEC.

World meat production by region World, ****, in million tons ...

1.3 Overall presentation of the French meat market

To make the graph below, we used the Insee data for NAF code **.* - "Processing and preserving of meat and preparation of meat products". Unfortunately, the total turnover of this code stopped in ****, but to find the size, we therefore multiplied the **** turnover by the average annual turnover indices.

For example, ...

1.4 France's foreign trade: A trade deficit

in this part, we used four Uncomtrade codes to be able to make these graphs, so we have the codes:

****, beef, fresh, frozen ****, pork, fresh, chilled or frozen ****, sheep or goat meat, fresh, chilled or frozen ****, poultry meat and poultry offal, fresh, chilled or frozen

French meat exports to foreign ...

1.5 The impact of covid-19 on the meat market

The volume of meat purchased increases with the pandemic...

The health crisis, which occurred in ****, has changed the consumption habits of the French, both in terms of quantities and the means of distribution used. In a so-called "normal" year (***), the volumes of meats purchased experienced a more limited increase as the ...

2 Analysis of the demand

2.1 French meat consumption

meat consumption

evolution and individual consumption of meat France, ****-****, in kgEC and in % Source: ****

Breakdown of French individual meat consumption France, ****/****/****, in % Source: ****

the average meat consumer basket

In the report published by FranceAgriMer in ****, French meat consumption was estimated at **.* billion euros in ****, up sharply from ****, when it was ...

2.2 Poultry meat consumption

Types of chickens

Distribution of the type of chicken quality France, ****, in % Source: ****

it can be seen that three quarters of the chicken consumed in France is of standard quality and that we only have a quarter of high-end chicken that is consumed. This can be partly explained by the fact ...

2.3 Beef consumption

Focus on beef consumption

evolution of beef consumption France, ****-****, in thousands of tons Source: ****

as with pork, the volume of beef was initially down between **** and ****, but in **** it started to rise again, with for example +**.* thousand tons of frozen ground beef purchased compared to the previous year.

Profile of ...

2.4 Pork consumption

Focus on the evolution of pork demand

Evolution of pork consumption

It is noted that between **** and ****, all types of pork meats had decreased in terms of volume purchased (***), which was already highlighted in Section *.*.

The profile of pork consumers

Distribution of fresh pork consumers by age France, ****, in % Source: ****

When ...

2.5 Organic meat, a new trend?

Organic poultry meat

In ****, **% of French people said they eat meat and among them **% eat organic meat, according to anIFOP.

Distribution of the number of consumers of organic meat France, ****, in % Source: ****

This desire to consume organic meat according to the respondents is the result of several factors.

Breakdown of reasons ...

2.6 Other trends

The development of prepared meals correlates with the decrease in time spent cooking

One of the main growth vectors for the meat market in France is that of prepared/compounded meals, which is linked to the higher growth and value added rates of the meat market in France.

This can be ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Structure of the meat market

An overview of the market

RHD : Catering industry

GMS: Large and medium-sized supermarkets

The meat market in France is driven by more than *,*** companies employing ***,*** people in ****.

This market is mainly occupied by large companies (***).

Distribution of turnover and added value of companies in the meat market France, ****, in % Source: ****

The ...

3.2 The meat industry in France

The National Livestock Confederation details some characteristics of meat production in France.

It is organized according to two herds:

The "dairy herd", it represents **% of the total herd and is composed of animals originating from and destined for milk production. **% of the animals are selected for the renewal of the herd. ...

3.3 The meat industry in France

In ****, there were *,*** companies in metropolitan France, including Corsica, with a total workforce of **,*** employees.

Distribution of the number of meat processing and preservation companiesFrance, ****, in number of units

Source: ****

The above map is based on Accos data for NAF codes **.**Z - "Processing and preserving of butcher's meat"-, **.**Z ...

3.4 Meat distribution in France

Meat distribution channels

Distribution of meat distribution channels (***) in terms of quantities purchased France, ****, as a % Source: ****

it can be seen that hypermarkets and supermarkets dominate the distribution channels since they represent **.*% of the meat distribution shares in terms of quantities purchased.

Pork meat

According to FranceAgriMer, the marketing of fresh ...

4 Analysis of the offer

4.1 The main meat price indices in France

Average annual price index for meat consumption France, ****-****, base *** in **** Source: ****

To make this graph, we used the Coicop code **.*.* - "Meat" -. We notice that prices have increased over the period ****-****, since in **** the index was *** while in **** it was estimated at ***.**, a price increase of *.**%. The average ...

4.2 The main price indices of the poultry meat market in France

Source: ****

There is a clear price difference between organic, free-range and standard chickens. These price differences are even greater when compared on the basis of retail prices. This can be explained by several factors. For organic poultry, the price of organic raw materials (***) is more expensive than standard raw materials. Poultry ...

4.3 The main price indices of the pork market in France

The change in the average price of fresh butchered pork from **** to **** is reported in the graph below.

Average price of pork in fresh butchery France, ****-****, in €/kg Source: ****

we note that the price in fresh butchery has changed little since ****. Nevertheless, we note a slight increase in ****. This meat ...

4.4 The main price indices of the beef market in France

Average price of beef by distribution channel France, ****, in Euros Source: ****

it can be seen that the prices of markets and specialized stores are between ** and **% higher than the prices offered in hypermarkets.

Table of wholesale prices, in € excluding tax per kg, on **/**/****MIN de Rungis: meat cuts

Product Average price Variation ...

5 Regulation

5.1 The main regulatory standards governing the meat market in France

Non-exhaustive list.

The " Hygiene Package " This is a set of European hygiene standards to ensure a minimum level of sanitary safety on a European scale and is imposed on all actors in the food chain. They include mainly the following regulations Regulation (***) No ***/****, Regulation (***) n°***/****, Regulation (***) n°***/****, Regulation (***) n°***/****, Regulation (***) n°***/****, Regulation ...

5.2 Some specifications concerning the regulation of the meat market

The Egalim law

The Egalim law aims to restore the balance of commercial relations between producers and large-scale distribution, but also to make healthy and sustainable food accessible to all consumers. This law has been enacted since October ****.

The impact

An article in Le Monde on June *, **** details the impact of ...

List of charts

  • The overall household budget for meat products
  • Purchase structure of meat product volumes purchased by households
  • Market size of the meat processing and preservation industry and the preparation of meat products
  • Average annual index of sales for NAF code 10.1
  • Segmentation of the chicken market demand
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Latest news

Jean-Baptiste Bissonnet, sharpening his ambitions - 28/03/2024
  • Date of creation of the first butcher's shop in 1959 at 99, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris
  • Notable customers:** Elysée, Matignon, Assemblée nationale
  • Sales: 65 million euros
  • Number of employees:240
  • 95% of sales to major hotels and restaurants
  • Recent acquisition of Rungis-based meat, fruit, vegetable and cream wholesaler Beaugrain (with 20 employees)
Socopa, a subsidiary of the Bigard group, is closing its slaughterhouse at Celles-sur-Belle in the Deux-Sèvres region of France - 25/11/2023
  • Socopa Viandes, a subsidiary of the Bigard group, has closed, affecting over 210 employees.
  • A fire between September 20 and 21 caused extensive damage to the plant, notably to loading bays, cold rooms and electrical networks
  • The pork slaughtering and boning unit was to be closed the following year.
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.
Cooperl, the pork heavyweight, a victim of inflation - 25/09/2023
  • Cooperl is France's number-two pork producer, with 30 plants.
  • 17 of its sites specialize in cooked charcuterie.
  • Two plants are threatened with closure: Goussainville in Val-d'Oise and Lampaulaise de Salaisons at Ergué-Gabéric in Finistère.
  • These two plants employed around 200 people.
  • The price of pork rose from 1.40 euros to 2.10 euros per kilo in one year.
  • Group sales are 2.8 billion euros.
  • Inflation has risen by 20% in all supermarket food segments in two years.
  • Household purchases of products such as meat, fish, poultry and charcuterie have fallen by 2% in 2023 compared with 2022.
  • Charcuterie manufacturers have recorded 19 bankruptcies since the beginning of the year.
  • Cooperl employs 3,000 members.

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. :

Cooperl Arc Atlantique
Bigard groupe
LDC Groupe
Bouchers Services Groupe Codéviande
Terrena (Coopérative)
Saglam France
Socopa (Bigard Groupe)

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