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How to kick-start your market research using figures of the luxury segment of the food sector

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Global Luxury Food Industry

The global luxury food industry involves the elaborate preparation and presentation of gourmet food, which is made of high-quality premium ingredients. The global gourmet market has seen demand rise due to rising levels of disposable income, consumer awareness of the importance of nutrition, and the globalization of taste.

Key Market Segments

Trufflesare widely used in the culinary world, known for their strong aroma and unmistakable flavor. Truffles are all the more valuable because of their brief season. Black truffles are usually associated more with France, while Italy is recognized for its white truffles.

Smoked Salmonis an increasingly popular luxury food, appealing to consumers for its versatility. Smoked salmon usually comes from a fillet, which is first cured before being smoked hot or cold. This delicacy is used in a wide array of food servings including salads, pasta dishes and as canapés.

Foie Gras is made from the liver of a specially fattened goose or duck. This French delicacy is popular for its buttery, rich taste and is sold on its own or in preparations such as pâtés, parfaits and mousses. One obstacle to growth in this market segment concerns consumer attitudes towards force feeding animals. Some countries do not legally allow force feeding of animals or sale of foie gras.

Caviar is a high-priced luxury sea product that remained relatively untouched by the economic crisis, reports International Aquatic Research. Every year, caviar demand reaches around 1,200 tons, with supply falling far short of this at around 180 tons. Caviar prices begin at around $300 per kilogram in North America, and closer to $800 in the EU, while even retailing as high as $2,600 in places. The fast pace of China’s sturgeon aquaculture industry development gives rise to better domestic management techniques for caviar processing and sturgeon farming. Worldwide, around 90% of caviar comes from the Caspian Sea. Overall, the farmed caviar market is expected to replace the wild caviar market as the production of caviar from wild sturgeon falls and the quantity of caviar from farmed sturgeons continues to climb. Between 2005 and 2010, farmed caviar production nearly doubled to reach 125 tons. Aquaculture production will dictate the caviar trade to a large extent, and there is likely to be less and less wild sturgeon products available on the global market. Iran is the number-one exporter and producer of caviar in the world, with exports exceeding 300 metric tons each year. Russia is the world’s second-largest caviar producer, with Italy rising as an important farmed caviar producer.

Regional Market Share

US retail sales of gourmet food and beverage products rose close to 4% in 2009 to exceed $67 billion, according to research from Packaged Facts. Market growth in the four preceding years exceeded a yearly rate of 8.5%.

According to the Department of Agriculture and Food Systems of Melbourne University in Australia, the country’s truffle market is in its initial phase. In 2009, Australia’s truffle production was around 1,500 kilograms, selling at a wholesale price between $1,500 and $2,000 per kilogram. Many Australian truffle growers are small-scale operations. Production in already planted areas is rising by around 40% yearly, to meet demand for exports. Moving forward, supply chain relationships and quality assurance will prove key for the Australian truffle producing industry. Australia exports its produce to the EU, Asia and the Americas.

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