Summary of our market study

Since 2020, the oyster market has exhibited various trends globally and within Spain. The global oyster production market was valued at approximately $1.7 billion in 2021, with an expected annual growth of +5.5% leading up to 2030. Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which affected sales due to restaurant closures, the Spanish market saw a significant rebound in 2021 with a +40% increase in sales value after a -27% drop. The Spanish market itself grew by +186% from 2008 to 2022. Domestic production in Spain also reflected this growth, with 10.8 million kilos sold in 2022, a price index of €4.8/kilo indicating an increase of +151% since 2005. International trade reveals France as both the top importer of Spanish oysters and the leading exporter to Spain, highlighting the interconnectedness of European oyster markets.

In terms of types, the Japanese oyster (Crassostrea gigas) led in Spanish production with 494 tons, while the flat oyster (Ostrea edulis) followed with 268 tons in 2020. Despite a decline in overall aquaculture employment, the sector remains significantly male-dominated, and regulations continue to guide cultivation practices and designated areas (e.g., Puerto de Sagunto and Santa Pola). Key players in the market range from local producers such as Ostras de Valencia, with €1 million in sales, to renowned French houses and dining establishments, including Maison Gillardeau and the Mercado San Miguel in Madrid, which had revenues of €4.3 million.

Trends in Spain's Oysters Market: A Surge in Demand and Culinary Preference Shift

Spain's oyster market has experienced significant growth in recent years, with the value of oyster sales seeing a notable increase. The market's buoyancy is underpinned by a surge in demand, particularly for the Edulis or flat oysters from the Atlantic, Galician oysters, and Belons from Brittany. This growth trajectory is illustrated by a remarkable 145% increase in sales value between 2008 and 2021, indicating a strong and expanding market for these aquatic delicacies. Despite the fluctuations resulting from factors like harvest variations and changes in consumer behavior during crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the Spanish market for oysters has shown resilience and recovery. From an international perspective, Spain is not just a consumer but also an active player in the oyster trade. The country exports a significant volume, with France being the leading importer of Spanish oysters, bringing in more than 40% of the total export value which is in the region of 35 to 40 million euros. In stark contrast, however, imports into Spain are substantially less, with France again being the primary origin of these imports.

The domestic scene is characterized by an impressive doubling in the volume of oysters sold from 2008 to 2022, reaching totals in the tens of millions of kilos. In terms of consumption patterns, Spaniards show a clear preference for oysters during certain times of the year. December is a pinnacle month where half of the world's oyster consumption is recorded, influenced heavily by festive celebrations and optimal harvesting conditions. As far as consumer venues are concerned, the traditional marisquerías remain popular, but there's been a diversification towards more modern settings such as oyster bars, which have seen a rise in popularity in urban centers like Barcelona. This cultural shift suggests an evolving palate among Spanish consumers in tandem with global gastronomic trends. Aquaculture serves as a significant sector of employment in Spain, with thousands of annual work units reported.

Key Players in the Spanish Oyster Market

Spain's oyster market is as diverse as it is robust, featuring a range of players from local producers to international giants and upscale dining venues to innovative oyster bars. Each entity brings its unique flavor to the industry, catering to the various preferences and consumption habits of oyster aficionados across Spain and beyond.

  • Ostras de Valencia is one such local producer, nestled within the bountiful waters of Valencia, which has made its mark by specializing in the cultivation and sale of premium oysters. They have effectively tapped into the local market, bringing the freshness of the sea straight to Spanish tables.
  • On a grander scale, France's Maison Gillardea and Maison Daniel Sorlut represent the touch of international expertise and prestige. These French powerhouses have a longstanding tradition of oyster farming, known for their meticulously bred oysters which are a fixture in the fine dining space.
  • Back in Valencia, Civera stands as a bastion of seafood excellence in the restaurant scene. Their status as a top-tier "Marisquería" attracts seafood lovers seeking the quintessential Spanish experience of enjoying fresh oysters in a traditional setting.
  • Ostras Pedrin, with establishments in Valencia and Madrid, caters to the chic and modern, offering a more casual yet sophisticated oyster bar ambiance. These venues combine the allure of a tasting experience with the accessibility of a local favorite spot.
  • Barcelona's Fishhh to go represents a melding of inspiration, borrowing from the concept of the American oyster bar to serve up fresh shellfish delights in a grab-and-go format, illustrating the market's adaptability to changing consumer lifestyles.
  • Also in Barcelona, Gouthier is recognized as an early innovator in the oyster bar scene, having established itself back in 2005. Their enduring presence attests to the Spanish market's appreciation for venues dedicated to oyster indulgence.
  • The brand Amélie Oysters has made a name for itself not only for its fine oysters but for sensationalizing the oyster experience with their "Amélie Experience" showcases, displaying an array of flavors that draw in those looking to venture beyond the traditional.
  • Finally, Madrid's Mercado San Miguel offers more than just a marketplace—it's a hub for gourmands seeking variety, including those pristine oysters that have become synonymous with luxury and celebration in the culinary world.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and presentation of the oyster market

Oysters are marine mollusks found anchored on rocks, and can be bred in dedicated oyster beds. They are mainly farmed on the coast, near lagoons. Oysters have a high commercial value and are mainly consumed from September to April in the European Union.

On a global scale, China overwhelmingly dominates production, with over 80% of the world total, far ahead of South Korea, the United States and Japan. Europe accounts for just 2% of world production, with France leading the way with around 82% of the total, ahead of the UK (11%) and Spain (3%).

In Spain, the oyster market has seen strong growth in recent years, with sales value up 145% between 2021 and 2008[Statista]. The market has really taken off since 2016, almost doubling between 2016 and 2021. Edulis or flat oysters from the Atlantic are the most sought-after, along with oysters from Galicia and Belons from Brittany. Imports also remain dynamic, with Spain accounting for over 10% of total imports within the European Union.

1.2 Global market

In ****, the size of the global oyster production market was in the region of*.* billion dollars. Growth is forecast at +*.*% per year until ****. The Asia-Pacific region accounts for over **% of these revenues. **% of total revenues are generated by the foodservice sector, which is explained by the fact that oysters are frequently ...

1.3 Spanish market

Income from the oyster industry varies from year to year. Indeed, some years can be bad from a harvest point of view, others from that of Spanish consumption. For example, oyster consumption fell sharply in ****, as Spaniards stayed home more often due to the health crisis. The value of sales therefore ...

1.4 International trade

It's interesting to note which are the biggest producers in Europe. France sold €***.* million worth of oysters in ****, accounting for almost **% of total European revenues for this product. Sales on the continent totaled €***.* million. Spain comes second, generating €**.* million, or **.*% of the total.

Share of total oyster sales revenue by country Europe, ...

1.5 Consequences of Covid-19

As oysters are most often eaten in restaurants, or even hotels, their sales were severely affected by the closures linked to the health crisis. Among seafood products, mussels also bore the brunt of the sanitary restrictions, for the same reasons. In Spain, however, the habit of consuming canned mussels helped to ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Consumption and cyclicity

Spain is Europe's fourth-largest seafood consumer, with *.* out of ** Spaniards eating fish and seafood every week. In total, each person consumes ** kilos of seafood per year, one of the highest rates on the planet. [***] This figure fluctuates from year to year, but remains stable.

Fish and seafood consumption Spain, ****-****, kg/person/year Source: ...

2.2 Consumption of canned seafood

Oysters are not the products most concerned, unlike mussels, but Spaniards are accustomed to eating canned seafood. Spain is Europe's leading producer of canned fish and seafood, and the world's second largest. [***]

Seafood consumption patterns Spain, ****, % [elDiario Source: ****

2.3 Household consumption

Spanish households consumed almost €* million worth of fish and seafood in ****, representing **% of their total food expenditure (***). This corresponds to an annual expenditure of €*** per person, for a consumption of almost ** kg. These results are part of a downward trend. [***]

Consumption of fresh fish accounts for **% of the total, while fresh ...

2.4 Consumer habits

Traditionally, Spaniards eat oysters in seafood restaurants called marisquerías. However, new consumption venues are emerging, such as oyster bars. Highly developed in the United States, they have been expanding in Spain over the past few years. Below is a list of the most famous of these establishments in Barcelona:

Source: ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Domestic production

It's interesting to consider the volume in kilos of oysters sold in Spain. In ****, the oyster industry sold **.* million kilos of oysters. This is almost twice the volume sold in ****, and four times more than in ****.

change in volume of oysters sold in millions of kilos Spain, ****-****, million kilos Source: ...

3.2 Operations and employment

The number of aquaculture businesses in Spain has fluctuated widely in recent years, returning to its **** level in ****. In ****, this number exceeded *,*** establishments.

evolution of the number of aquaculture establishments Spain, ****-****, unit Source: ****

Aquaculture employed **, *** people in Spain in ****, corresponding in practice to *,*** annual work units (***). Most of these were ...

3.3 Oyster cultivation by type

Two oyster species are cultivated in Spain: the flat oyster (***). In ****, total production was *** tonnes, worth *.* million euros.

Source: ****

4 Offer analysis

4.1 The different types of oyster

There are two main categories of oyster: European oysters, which are flatter and more refined, and Japanese oysters, which are fuller-bodied and less expensive.

Source: ****

In recent years, French oysters, mostly of the Japanese variety, have been gaining ground on the Spanish market, to the detriment of local flat oysters, particularly ...

4.2 Prices

Galician oysters (***) are priced from €*.** to €*.** per unit, depending on size. They are sold by the case, usually *.

source : Mariscos Gontelo

However, it's worth noting that retail prices are much higher than selling prices per kilo. According to the Spanish Aquaculture Business Association(***), the price of Japanese oysters is €*.**/kg. The ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Normative framework

The areas where oyster cultivation is authorized are published in the Boletín Oficial del Estado (***). For the Valencian Community, the zones are as follows:

Puerto de Sagunto ; Puerto de Valencia - Recinto nuevo ; Puerto de Valencia - Gità ; Tavernes-Dénia ; Santa Pola.

These production areas for molluscs and other invertebrates ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Player segmentation

  • Huîtres Amélie
  • Ostras de Valencia
  • Gillardeau Maison
  • Maison Daniel Sorlut
  • Civera

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Changes in the size of the oyster market
  • Oyster sales by value
  • Share of total revenues from oyster sales by country
  • Destination of oyster exports by country
  • Origin of oyster imports by country
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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. :

Huîtres Amélie
Ostras de Valencia
Gillardeau Maison
Maison Daniel Sorlut

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