Foie Gras: comforting food for hard times

Foie Gras: comforting food for hard times

Despite hard time, foie gras flew off the shelves during the holiday season, to the point that some stores even ran out.

The sector can breathe a sigh of relief: despite France having been hit with lockdowns, restaurant closings and bird flu in 2020, foie gras sales still increased by 1.8% by volume and 1.4% by value during the year as a whole. “We gained 1.2 million additional customers over the year,” Marie-Pierre Pé, director of the Inter-professional Committee of Web-Footed Fowl for Foie Gras, boasted. She sees it as proof of “French people’s indefectible attachment to the product.”

As a must on holiday tables, sales went through the roof in December. Last-minute purchases after the government announced that lockdown would be suspended for the holidays made the difference: in both supermarkets and smaller grocery stores, sales shot up 32.2% from December 21 to 27, and 27.3 % from December 28 to January 3! That rush even meant that some stores ran out. “Foie gras turned out to be comfort food for the holiday season,” the Committee’s director points out.

  • The e-shopping boom –

Because of the pandemic, the way consumers shop evolved considerably.

“We have to highlight the surge in e-commerce, which includes both curbside pick-up and on-line sales. Producers and distributors adapted to consumer demands, and e-sales increased 100%,”Marie-Pierre Pé emphasizes.

In brick-and-mortar commerce, direct sales also met consumers’ expectations. “Direct sales also correspond to the needs of many households, who want to be advised and reassured. They increased 58.7 %, she adds.   

The sector’s other signature product, duck breast fillet, also appealed to French consumers. It recorded 10.2% growth in household purchases by volume and 8.6% by value in 2020 compared to the year before.

The sector, which is highly mobilized, has planned plenty of informative events for 2021 that will guide consumers in their desire to get to know the product better: Open House Days on farms and businesses for Cultural Heritage Day; Foie Gras Week in restaurants; television exposure through partnerships with the most popular cooking shows on TF1 and M6… the year will be full of surprises!

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