The foie gras French color return

After two years of shortage caused by the avian influenza virus, the foie gras has succeeded in its grand return to the French market in 2018. Throughout the ye

The foie gras French color return

After two years of shortage caused by the avian influenza virus, the foie gras has succeeded in its grand return to the French market in 2018. Throughout the year, its sales in retail, 80% of the purchases of households in France increased by +2.8% in volume and +3.4% in value. In total, the turnover for the whole of the French market has reached 1.26 billion euros last year. "Households account for half of the market, catering and hospitality,, 40% export and 10%," recalls Marie-Pierre Pé, director of the Cifog (Comité Interprofessionnel du Foie Gras).

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This product, however, a strong seasonality. He remains closely tied to the Christmas holiday, since 80% of its sales took place in the end of the year. "Foie gras is a champion of products that are festive and this despite a climate that is not conducive to purchases because of the protests of the "yellow vests". Its sales rose +7.6% in volume compared to the end of 2017, ahead of the specialties icy Christmas (+6.6%) and chocolate confectionery (+5.2 per cent) in terms of volume growth," says Michel Fruchet, president of the Cifog.

return to the levels of 2015

To accompany the growth of consumer demand, the French offer was increased last year as the measures of prevention of avian influenza have borne fruit. "She has returned to a level close to that of 2015 prior to the two years of bird flu that has decimated flocks. We have produced 33 million ducks on the French market, compared to 37 million three years ago," notes Fabien Chevalier, director general of the Maison Lafitte producer quasi-centenary of foie gras in the Landes. He is also president of the Fiac (French Federation of the Industries of Food Stored ). "To compensate for these lower performance imports have increased and exports have decreased" , he adds.

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The trade balance remains in surplus in 2018, at 18.4 million euros, but fell slightly compared to 22.9 million euros in 2017. Overall, the 4,000 French breeders have produced 16.818 tons of foie gras on the national territory and placed on the market 18.986 tonnes of foie gras in 2018. A good reboot that should allow them to quickly find the levels of production and availability of 2015, which were, respectively, 19.242 tonnes and 20.500 tonnes.


With the return of the offer, all market indicators are back to green. "All stores combined , the foie gras has gained new household buyers, who have bought more, 536 grams compared with 527 grams a year ago," says Marie-Pierre Pé. They spent 2 euros in addition to their purchase budget from 32,50 euros against 30,50 euros 12 months earlier. These performances indicate a good margin of progression with, is the focal point, to return to the level of the market pre-crisis, in 2015", she hopes.

In large and medium-sized surfaces, this objective represents an increase in sales of approximately 600 tonnes from 2018.

in addition, to facilitate the identification of the foie gras "Made in France", the sector began a process of valuation that will give rise to the creation of a specific logo at the end of next year. On the other hand, the Cifog is looking has found the market share of the market that it has lost on the meat market (40% of the valuation of the ducks), the duck having been replaced by beef or poultry such as chicken. "We're going to release new products featuring the duck breast and confit," says Marie-Pierre Pé.

Finally, the emergence of products that are 100% vegetable such as the "faux bold", at a time when animal welfare is increasingly being taken into account by the consumers, has not affected the sector. According to a survey conducted in December 2018 by the CSA in partnership with the Cifog, 90% of the French still consume foie gras, and more than two-thirds of them eat it at least two times a year.

Updated Date: 31 March 2019, 00:00

Kathleen Lees


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