French trout, typical festive fare01-12-2016
Every year sales of fresh and smoked trout continue to increase in France. Read on to find out the key to this success.
In 2015, Christmas and New Year orders saw a 16% increase on the previous year, (Source: FranceAgriMer) and accounted for more than 5% of sales of fresh fish, making it the fourth most popular fish in French homes ranked closely behind pollack. We are noticing in fact a 50% increase in trout production over the last 10 years, which has now reached 32,000 tonnes. And while consumption of fresh trout continues to rise, the same can be said for smoked and processed trout. (Source: FranceAgriMer 2015).
According to FranceAgriMer, a division of the French Ministry of Agriculture, this increase in France is set against a decline in salmon consumption. Since 2009, trout – fresh, smoked or processed – has seen the highest growth in consumption. As a result, France is now Europe’s second largest producer of freshwater trout, and trout ranks among the top 5 fish regularly served at French mealtimes (Source: CIPA).
Smoked trout enjoys a relatively favourable image among consumers, and while its attractive price in comparison to salmon is an important drive, so too is its “Made in France” provenance. 85% of trout consumed in France originates from France. While salmon remains the food of choice during the festive season, trout is gaining ground in French households.
Ovive, the French brand committed to the environment
Many companies play an important role in promoting French trout. Launched in 2003 by the Aquelande Group, Ovive is firmly positioned in the environmental and social ethics sector.
“Our aim was to transform our best farming and processing practices into a strong brand identity. Ovive is a reflection of what we do on a daily basis”, explains Stephane Dargelas, director of sales and marketing.
Its sales and distribution facilities have won numerous quality labels including Global Gap and Agri Confiance for farming. Ovive, based in the Landes region of France, sells trout in various formats, include whole, fillets and steaks, bulk purchases for fishmongers and also frozen fish for specialist retailers.
“The majority of our business (80%) is smoked fish. Our smoked trout is sold essentially in supermarkets,” underlines Stephane Dargelas.
The brand also produces trout caviar in jars sold to wholesalers and restaurants in Japan and the United States. For Ovive, exports are one of the next phases of development, and Switzerland, Belgium and Italy will be the first countries to discover the brand in forthcoming months.
And to finish on a tasty note, check out this delicious recipe for trout tartare and crunchy vegetables on Ovive’s website. Remember, smoked trout can be enjoyed all year round, even if December is a peak period.
And it’s also worth noting that trout is 2-3 times less fatty than salmon!