French Agriculture Sectors: Top 5 Market Opportunities

A Hot Tip about Horticulture and Support Services in France

Last updated: 13 Mar 2011

Fish and Seafood, Fresh and Frozen


France is a major consumer of seafood products and a net importer of many seafood products because domestic production is significantly lower than demand. In 2008, the United States was France’s fifth largest supplier of seafood products after Norway, the U.K. Spain and the Netherlands. U.S. seafood products exported to France mainly consist of frozen fillets and frozen scallop, live lobster and frozen salmon.


Processed Fruits and Vegetables, including Fruit Juices

Fruit juices and soft drinks in France are currently the most dynamic growth sectors among non-alcoholic beverages, with per capita consumption of fruit juices estimated at 28 liters per year. The primary imports from the United States consisted of fresh and frozen orange and grapefruit juices. Competition in the juice sector is very strong, principally from Brazil, Israel and Spain, which benefit from preferential tariffs.


Beverages, including Mineral Water, Beer, Wine and Spirits

In 2007, French imports of U.S. wine totaled 24 million euro ($33 million), representing 4.3 percent of total French wine imports by value. U.S. wine in France faces strong competition from Italy, Spain and Greece as well as from new world producers such as Australia, South Africa and Chile.


The French are also significant consumers of spirits. In 2007, U.S. spirits exports to France valued at 46 million euro ($63 million), represented 6.6 percent of total French spirits imports of approximately 744 million euro ($1,019 million).


Opportunities exist for ethnic, new and innovative U.S. beverages, particularly those linked with Tex-Mex foods.


France is the fifth largest European producer of beer with a total production of 17 million hectoliters. Ten percent of the production is exported. The French beer industry consists of six major breweries. Two American brewers are present in the French market: Anheuser-Bush and Miller.


Fresh and Dried Fruits, including Nuts

Prime opportunities for U.S. suppliers are in off-season and extended-season sales, and years of short French fruit crops. France is one of the most important markets for U.S. grapefruit valued at 22 million euro ($30 million) in 2007. The U.S. market share for citrus fruits represents 25 percent of total French imports in value and 20 percent in volume. France imports apples and pears in short crop years. There is also a niche market for berries, cherries and tangerines. The snack and nut product niche market is important for U.S. exporters, who profit by promoting their products as healthy and high-quality choices.


Fresh and Dried Vegetables

U.S. dried vegetables exports to France increased one percent in value in 2007, to reach $20 million. In 2007, rice imports from the United States decreased 12 percent in value to $11 million, due to previous detection of biotech presence in U.S. rice, competition from Spain and Italy and high U.S. prices. Opportunities exist for U.S. suppliers of dried beans, peas and lentils.

Very few opportunities exist for U.S. fresh vegetables, except for green asparagus and may be some superior quality and produced off-season fresh vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini, sweet peppers and iceberg lettuce.


Meat and Offal

Opportunities in this market are limited given the import quota on hormone free meat and stringent EU veterinary regulations. The most prominent meat import from the United States is horsemeat which was valued at $18 million in 2007. Pork meat imports amounted to $13 million and beef imports $11,165,753. Bison meat is growing in popularity in France, mostly of Canadian origin, but there might be opportunities for U.S. products. For additional information on above product opportunities and market information may be found in various reports from the following website:


Read the full market research report  

Posted: 06 January 2010, last updated 13 March 2011

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