Summary of our market study

The French smoked salmon market can be valued at €1.1 billion

The European smoked salmon market, of which France is a key player, continues to show a trend towards premiumization.

Demand for high-quality products, such as wild and organic smoked salmon, is increasing in France, driving up the value and price of smoked salmon, despite a contraction in market volume.

The French market is characterized by high consumer expectations, seasonal peaks during the festive season and a preference for products smoked in the country, as evidenced by the success of the "Fumé en France" label.

Regulations and certifications, such as the Charte du saumon fumé and Label Rouge, play an important role in maintaining high standards of production, animal welfare and environmental sustainability.

French market dynamics and consumer preferences for smoked salmon

France is one of the biggest consumers of smoked salmon in Europe, and demand has shifted towards high-quality products, as evidenced by growth in market value despite a decline in market volume. The French market experienced marginal growth in volume, but a more pronounced incline in value, rising from around one billion to just over 1.15 billion euros.

The use of wild salmon in smoked salmon production jumped by 50%.

90% of French consumers eat smoked salmon, with the vast majority considering it an essential part of their festive meals. Three quarters of consumers prefer products bearing the "Fumé en France" label.

Demand for smoked salmon in France is stable for most of the year, with a sharp rise in December. Prices for smoked salmon remain relatively stable from January to September, but rise from October to December.

Smoked salmon is less popular among young people under 35, while consumption is more widespread among older age groups. Smoked salmon's status as a luxury product and its high price play a role in the fact that it does not reach the lower classes.

The French smoked salmon market is characterized by the absence of substitute products. Although smoked trout and herring are present, smoked salmon retains a dominant penetration rate of around 66%. Smoked salmon is much more widely consumed than fresh salmon.

French manufacturers have developed a collective reference system that enables certified products to bear the "Fumé en France" logo. It is estimated that 85% of market players have subscribed to this voluntary certification.

Overview of the main smoked salmon companies

  • Delpeyrat
  • Delpierre
  • Fjord King
  • Labeyrie
  • Le Borvo .
  • Meralliance
  • Moulin de la Marche
  • Seumextra
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Market definition

Smoked salmon is a preparation made from salmon as a raw material. Generally speaking, it is the fish fillets that are smoked, either hot or cold, depending on the smoking techniques used in different European countries.

Consumed as an appetizer or during the festive season, smoked salmon is considered a quality product by the French, often a symbol of celebration of a special occasion. Smoked salmon is itself a substitute for other smoked or dried meats and fish, and rivals foie gras and oysters as the emblem of holiday meals.

In Europe, the salmon species from which the majority of smoked salmon sold on the market originates is Salmo Salar, or Atlantic salmon.

The French smoked salmon market is vertically segmented, with specialized brands tending to be mid-range/top-of-the-range, and private labels tending to be bottom-of-the-range. It is one of Europe's most dynamic markets, in terms of both production and consumption.

However, the French market differs from other European markets in that consumer expectations are very high, prompting producers to adopt a strategy of adding value to their products in recent years.

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Production value
  • Main smoked salmon producing countries
  • Market supply by product type
  • Market trends in volume
  • Market trends in value
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Latest news

Auchan faces another "difficult" year in 2023 - 22/02/2024
  • -Auchan net loss in 2023: 379 million euros
  • - Previous year's profit: 33 million euros
  • - Auchan's position in the French retail sector: 5th
  • - Revenue in 2023: down 1.7% to 32.9 billion euros
  • - Share of hypermarkets in Auchan's store base: 21%
  • - Acquisition of Casino stores by Auchan and Intermarché: 70 supermarkets, 26 hypermarkets, including five larger than 9,000 m2, and two drives
Auchan: New Beginnings - 06/12/2023
  • Gérard Mulliez founded Auchan in 1961.
  • Auchan hypermarkets account for 80% of the company's sales.
  • Auchan's market share has fallen from over 10% five years ago to 8.4% today.
  • Failed attempt by the Mulliez family to take over Carrefour in October 2021.
  • Auchan and Intermarché are looking to form a product purchasing alliance, which would give them a combined market share of 30%.
  • Auchan and Intermarché have been trying to share nearly 300 hypers and supermarkets that Casino is due to sell.
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.
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
Foie gras: French competition authority to investigate major merger project - 16/12/2022
  • Maïsadour (Delpeyrat brand) and Euralis (Rougié and Montfort) want to create a new duck cooperative
  • Both cooperatives have been severely affected by the four bird flu outbreaks, the last of which alone forced the slaughter of over 20 million birds
  • The number of foie gras palmipeds has fallen drastically Industrial facilities have too much capacity for the number of animals to be processed
Delpeyrat invests to modernize Saint-Pierre-du-Mont - 15/11/2022
  • Automation of Delpeyrat's packaging facility in Saint-Pierre-du-Mont
  • Investment of 4.3 million euros in the automation program
  • Three production lines concerned: foie gras in jars or preserves and canned confits
  • Project objectives: productivity gains and improved working conditions.

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. :

Marine Harvest Kristen (Mowi group)
Moulin de la Marche
William & James
Delpierre (Labeyrie Groupe)
Thai Union groupe - Petit Navire
Mer Alliance Armoric (Groupe Thai Union)
Guyader Gastronomie
Auchan groupe

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