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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

Oysters are edible bivalve marine mollusks, attached to marine rocks by a valve in their shells, which are farmed (oyster farming) in parks and whose species (belon, Portuguese, etc.) are consumed mainly during the 'r' months (September to April), outside the reproductive period. Oysters are a foodstuff of great commercial value and can be eaten raw or cooked. Oyster eating has been a feature of the Mediterranean Sea basin's diet since prehistoric times, and Heinrich Schliemann discovered many mounds of oyster shells during his excavations at Mycenae. Natural oysters have always been abundant over most of the Greek coast, as well as the Egyptian, French, and Italian shores.

Highly sustainable, oysters are mainly bred in coastal areas and near lagoons: thanks to their function of filtering and purifying water, for some time now they have been referred to as oyster-tecture to indicate their use in the construction of barriers useful for purifying the marine ecosystem.

The oyster market is therefore a sub-segment of the seafood market and, more generally, of the aquatic products market. 

In 2018, the worldwide oysters’ market was estimated to be worth USD 7,46 billion. In 2020 it has registered a negative growth; nevertheless, during the years 2021-2026, the market is anticipated to increase at a CAGR of about 5%.

Italy is one of the nations producing the finest oysters, still one level below those reared in Normandy, but certainly more competitive in terms of price. They are mainly bred in Liguria, Puglia, Veneto, Sardinia and Sicily, and the production of Italian oysters does not exceed 170 tons per year. Italian oysters saw a 20% increase in demand between Christmas and New Year 2020; Italy is the second largest consumer in Europe, but it needs to import oysters from France to satisfy the large demand. The Italian market has been receiving substantial investments for 10 years to try to grow and reach French levels, carried on by Fedagripesca-Confcooperative.

The breeding techniques were mainly developed in France. The breeding is always characterized by a growth phase, which can last for one or two years and is performed with various techniques; in the Atlantic areas, the so-called "elevation" system is preferred, consisting of plastic nets connected to looms arranged in the areas of greatest surf, which are alternately submerged by the tides. Italy is developing new techniques to increase the production while maintaining the high quality.

List of charts

  • Taille du marché de l'huître
  • Volumes de fruits de mer frais
  • Valeur de la production de poissons, crustacés et mollusques
  • Production européenne d'huîtres
  • Nombre d'entreprises de transformation et de conservation du poisson, des crustacés et des mollusques
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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. :

Oyster Oasis
Del Mar

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