Content of the study:
The smoked salmon market - Italy

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1.1 Definition and presentation

The smoked salmon market identifies all farmers, fishermen, producers, distributors and sellers of smoked salmon. Usually salmon of the species Salmo salar (Atlantic salmon) are used. After being caught, smoked salmon is produced by gutting and removing the head of the fish and subjecting it to a smoking process, which can be of two types:

  • Cold-smoking: the salmon is filleted and salted in wooden containers and then smoked for 12 hours at a temperature not exceeding 20 °C.
  • Hot smoking: the salmon is filleted and salted and smoked over birch wood at a maximum temperature of 120 °C which is gradually lowered to 75 °C.

The global smoked salmon market has been growing in recent years and is expected to continue growing at a CAGR of 5.1% till 2025. In terms of smoking technique, cold smoking accounted for 66.74% of the global market in 2018. In 2019, the European countries that consumed the most smoked salmon were Germany (39K tons), France (26K tons), and the UK (24K tons), which together accounted for 38% of the total consumption.

Italy is the fourth largest European consumer of smoked salmon. In 2019, the market grew by 5.9% in value and 7.1% in volume. In terms of consumption habits, 44% of Italians said they buy this product on impulse, while 28% said they would consume it every day. Moreover, smoked salmon is a very seasonal product, as it is traditionally consumed during the Christmas holidays.

In terms of origin, smoked salmon comes from Canada, Norway, Scotland and Ireland. In particular, Norwegian salmon is very important in Italy, and its imports in 2018 grew by 18% compared to the previous year, reaching a record 100 thousand tons.

Smoked salmon has been criticised on numerous occasions because of the potential health risks it may pose to its consumers. In fact, it is believed that some nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons may have carcinogenic effects, even if only in case of habitual consumption of smoked foods.

1.2 The European market

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

1.3 Size of the Italian market

In recent years, the consumption of smoked salmon in Italy has experienced constant growth. Salmon has lost its winter connotation, also thanks to the success of the restaurants offering Japanese cuisine. In fact, in these places, fresh salmon is used for the different types of sushi and sashimi, but frequently also ...

1.4 Imports and Exports of salmon in Italy

This part of the research focuses on the Italian market and its characteristics over the last ten years. In Italy, the smoked salmon market is characterized by a high amount of imported product and a very low amount exported. 

In recent years, especially since **** [***], the demand for smoked salmon has increased ...

1.5 COVID-19 Impact

The pandemic has had an impact on all sectors and in all markets. Obviously, it also created consequences in the fish market and, more generally, in the food market. In Italy, during the lockdown period, which lasted from March to May ****, people were forced to stay indoors. In addition, bars and ...


2.1 Growing trend for the Italian market

Italian demand for smoked salmon is highly seasonal, although interest is slowly growing even during non-holiday periods. Demand and interest in this type of fish reached and still reaches peaks during the Christmas season. Smoked salmon is in fact a constant presence on Italian tables during this period, used in many ...

2.2 What do Italians prefer?

In ****, despite the pandemic and the related crisis, * out of ** Italians did not give up the tradition of putting fish on the table during the Christmas holidays. In light of this, **% of Italians have confirmed following this tradition.

Italians who ate fish during the Christmas holidays Italy, ****, % Source: ****

Menu chosen by ...


3.1 The smoked salmon market: a concentrated market

In Italy there are no salmon farms, so every year tons of this fish are imported both already processed and ready to be sold and to be processed. There are not many companies that process salmon in Italy, so the market is fairly concentrated.

Some of the companies that process the ...

3.2 The production process

Smoked salmon can be produced in two different ways: a hot smoking process, traditionally used in North America, and a cold smoking process, mostly common in Europe.

There are several steps in the production of smoked salmon. First, the fresh or frozen raw material is stored in special cells or immediately ...


4.1 Price analysis

As the interest and demand for smoked salmon are somewhat seasonal, so is the price. During holiday periods prices tend to increase, while during the rest of the year they stabilize again. The prices found in the market for the end consumer tend to be as shown in the table ...

4.2 Product classification

In Italy, there are three criteria for differentiating smoked salmon products:

The geographical origin of fish: Norway, Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Alaska The raw material quality: wild salmon, farmed salmon, organic salmon, red label Brands and labels: never frozen, thawed, handmade, no brine injection 

The factors that differentiate good quality salmon from ...

4.3 Market history and sustainability

Italians are used to having salmon on the table both at home and at restaurants. Italy consumes tons of salmon a year, until recently mainly during the holiday season, but gradually we are moving towards seasonal adjustment, with daily consumption.

Salmon certainly has considerable nutritional benefits. In fact, its meat is ...

4.4 A glimpse into the future

Given the unsustainability of intensive farming, there is a growing interest in meat produced in laboratories. There are several start-ups around the world studying this new sector and trying to develop it at affordable prices. One example is Wild Type, a start-up founded in San Francisco in ****. The company aims to ...


5.1 Regulations and certifications

In Italy there are several certifications that protect the consumer and help him to make informed choices, they are mostly shared internationally or at European level. The best known and most common are:

MSC (***) IFS (***) quality and environmental safety standard. It was created to create a uniform and transparent evaluation approach ...


6.1 Market segmentation

  • Conad
  • Esselunga
  • Agroittica
  • Coop
  • alles fisch
  • La Riunione
  • Upstream

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Reviews (5)

Reviews (5)

The chocolate and chocolate factory market - France

Publicado en 23/06/2022 by Helie Krotoff


The market for sports nutrition supplements - France

Publicado en 31/01/2022 by Thibaut Reinhard - Biocanna Technologies SRL

We got the numbers we needed. Excellent study

Businesscoot Response:

Thank you for your feedback. We are glad that the study lived up to your expectations. We hope you will give us a 5/5 next time ;)

The Farm Animal Feed Market - France

Publicado en 09/01/2022 by Hugo Schott - Businesscoot

Note the recent but steady take-off of organic feed for farm animals, which is leading to a renewal of research and development in the sector

Businesscoot Response:

Hello Hugo, Thank you for your feedback. We are glad that the study was up to your expectations. We hope you will give us a 5/5 next time ;)

The market for sports nutrition supplements - France

Publicado en 06/01/2022 by Amaury Wernert

The work of collection, data processing and the method to estimate the market still poorly known are very relevant. Interview with the market specialist on the impact of the Covid crisis very interesting

Businesscoot Response:

Hello Amaury, Thank you for your feedback. We are happy to read that the content and structure of the study have fully met your expectations. :)

The ready meal market - France

Publicado en 26/11/2020 by Lucie Piette - Cooperl

Good synthesis of the market with interesting figures

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Hello Lucie, Thank you for your feedback. We are happy to read that you were completely satisfied with the content of the study. :)

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