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1.1 Market definition

Smoked salmon is a preparation from salmon as base. Usually, the fish fillets are smoked, either hot or cold, depending on the smoking techniques that differ between European countries.

Smoked salmon is mainly consumed during appetizers or during the festive season in France, and is considered a quality product. Moreover, it has become a symbol of celebration. Smoked salmon is itself a substitute for other smoked or dried meats and fish, and is competing against the likes of foie gras and oysters as the prevalent holiday meal.

In Europe, the majority of smoked salmon sold belongs to the "Salmo Salar" species, also known as Atlantic salmon.

The French market for smoked salmon is vertically segmented, between specialist brands, which are more in the mid-upper end of the range, and private labels, which are more in the lower end. It is one of the most dynamic markets in Europe, both in terms of production and consumption.

Nevertheless, the French market is lagging behind other European markets because of very high consumer expectations, which has been pushing producers to adopt innovative methods to add value to their products.

1.2 The European market is growing

This part of the study focuses on the European market for smoked salmon and not on the world market, since world consumption of the product is largely concentrated in Europe.
It should be noted that the section's figures for market values are given in relation to the producer price of smoked ...

1.3 The French market follows a dynamic of product valorisation

In this section, figures concerning values for the domestic market for smoked salmon are not based on producer prices, but rather on sales. This difference in measuring market size by using sales volumes explains why in this section figures might contradict those presented in earlier graphs. 

Source: ****
The French market is ...


2.1 A market driven by high-end products

French demand for smoked salmon is high and robust, given by the fact that France is the second largest European consumer of this product. However, recent consumer trends implies that consumers increasingly look for a high-quality product. Indeed, this explains how the decline in market volumes sold in France is offset ...

2.2 A cyclical French market focused on the festive season

Source: ****
The graph above represents the proportion of searches for a given key word in a specific region and for a specific period of time, compared to when the use of that word was highest (***). Thus, a value of ** means that the keyword has been used less often in France, and ...

2.3 Smoked Salmon's Consumer Profile

Source: ****
The graph above illustrates the consumption of different salmon products by demographics. From this, we derive that smoked salmon is much less appealing to young, with the under-** age group consuming the least amount of the product. It is older consumers who are most inclined to consume it, with age ...


3.1 Production process

Smoked salmon is produced in two ways: hot smoking which is traditionally used in North America, and cold smoking common in Europe. The steps in the production of cold-smoked salmon are as follows:

Source: ****
Traditional techniques, where smoking and drying are carried out with wood chips, have gradually been replaced by ...

3.2 The different distribution channels for smoked salmon

Source: ****
Smoked salmon is, as shown in the graph above, predominantly distributed via hyper-and super-market networks in France, with around **% of total distribution in these channels. Hard discount stores account for only **.*% of the distribution, which is fairly consistent with the fact that consumers are looking for top-of-the-range smoked salmon. 
The ...

3.3 The market for smoked salmon is a concentrated market

There are approximately ** active companies in the smoked salmon sector, with a total of approximately *,*** employees as of October **** in France [***].
However, * of these ** companies share **% of the total market share, making it a market where activity is concentrated around these smoked salmon giants. This group of companies includes [***]:
Delpeyrat; Delpierre; King's ...


4.1 Price Analysis

Similarly to the consumption pattern of smoked salmon, there is a seasonality in prices in France. While stable from January to September, prices rise moderately in October to November, whereby December implies a sharp price increase, which follows from demand cycles.
The price of smoked salmon depends mainly on two factors, ...

4.2 Classification of smoked salmon

In France, three criterions are used to differentiate smoked salmon products:
The geographical origin of the fish : for example, Norway, Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Alaska .. The quality of the raw material : wild / farmed salmon, organic farming, Label Rouge .. Brands and labels : never frozen, without brine injection..
The factors that differentiate good and ...

4.3 A product with highly loyal consumers

Source: ****
Smoked salmon as a finished product can be classified together with other smoked products made from fish. For instance, smoked trout is the main competitor to smoked salmon, but smoked herring is also integral with a market penetration rate of **%. Smoked tuna remains a very limited product to date. 
However, ...

4.4 French certification of smoked salmon

In response to growing consumer demand for product traceability and a desire to ensure the quality of the smoked salmon consumed, French manufacturers have launched a collective professional standard. The aim is to guarantee that the entire fish preparation process is carried out on national territory, together with the management of ...


5.1 Regulatory framework

The name Label Rouge imposes strict specifications both on the farming methods (***). The main measure of quality in salmon is the fat content, which varies from **% to **% depending on size.
The AB logo guarantees animal and environmentally friendly farming conditions. The production sites are carefully selected to avoid any risk of ...

5.2 Summary of the Smoked Salmon Charte in France

The Charte contains * essential points, listed below:
Responsible management of marine resources ; Responsible management of workshops and transformation processes ; Guaranteeing sanitary safety and traceability of the product (***); Respecting the French smoking tradition ; The preservation of the nutritional qualities of salmon as a raw material ; The social responsibility of smoking shops.
These ...


6.1 Market segmentation

  • Labeyrie
  • Delpeyrat
  • Kristen (Marine Harvest Kristen)
  • Moulin de la Marche
  • Saumextra
  • William & James
  • Delpierre
  • Petit Navire
  • Mer Alliance Armoric
  • Guyader
  • E.Leclerc
  • Carrefour
  • Auchan
  • Monoprix

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