Global Snail Market - Key Findings And Insights

May 28, 2018


Global Snail Market - Key Findings And Insights

European countries remain major consuming markets for snails

In 2016, global snail market amounted to 43K tonnes, which equated approx. $154M in terms of wholesale prices. From 2007 to 2016, the global snail market was gradually growing; however, with some noticeable fluctuations in certain years. A significant drop in 2010 (-13% Y-o-Y) was followed by a robust increase through to 2014. Afterward, however, it plunged again and then bounced back in 2016. 

According to the report "World: Snails (Except Sea Snails) - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2025" recently published by IndexBox, the countries with the highest consumption were Spain (16.5K tonnes), Morocco (6.0K tonnes), France (5.3K tonnes) and Italy (2.1K tonnes), together comprising near 69% of global consumption. 

The highest annual growth rates of snail consumption from 2007 to 2016 were recorded in Morocco, with +21.6% growth, and France, with +5.9% growth. Morocco significantly strengthened its share in terms of the global consumption from 3% in 2007 to 15% in 2016. By contrast, the share of China decreased to the same extent. The shares of the other countries remained relatively unchanged over the period under review.

Among the leading consuming countries high per capita consumption levels were recorded in Spain (358 gr/year in 2016) and Morocco (174 kg/year), which was far above than the world average of 5.9 gr/year. In addition, high levels of per capita consumption of snails were noted in Portugal (155 kg/year in 2016), France (82 kg/year), Tunisia (82 kg/year), and Bosnia and Herzegovina (197 kg/year). Within 2007-2016, the highest annual growth rates of per capita consumption were observed in Morocco (+21.6% per year), France (+5.5% per year) and Portugal (+6.4% per year). As per capita consumption went upwards in the recent years, further market growth in these countries could be expected in the medium term.

European countries are remaining the largest consumers of snails. At the same time, the growing standard of living and the popularity of European cuisine in Asian countries provide certain prospects for the market growth in these countries; nevertheless, due to the specificity of the product, a sharp increase in its consumption is not expected.

The snail market is to reach 50K tonnes by 2025

For a long time, snails were considered to be a traditional dish in Mediterranean cuisine. Currently, most snails are still consumed in cooking, but the popularity of using snails in cosmetics is growing at a rapid pace. In addition, improved freezing technology and temperature control stimulated demand from the food industry. In addition, thanks to the worldwide popularization of the ecological and healthy lifestyle, as well as the growth of income and vogue for European cuisine in Asian countries, there is a growing demand in North American and South-East Asian markets. At the same time, snail meat is traditionally consumed in African countries, especially West Africa, where snails meat is a diet staple.

Growth in the popularity of healthy eating, marketing of snail products as a natural alternative, emergence of new products (snail caviar), growing demand for cosmetics made from organic products will contribute in the future to the mild upward trend in the market performance, which is rising with an anticipated CAGR of +2.0% for the nine-year period from 2016 to 2025, and is expected to bring the market to 50K tonnes by the end of 2025.

Global snail production retains relatively stable levels

Global production of snails posted slight but steady growth from 2007 to 2016, reaching 41K tonnes in the last year. In value terms, it stood at $173M, which refer to an estimated revenue of snail producers. 

The output of the five major producers of snails, namely, Morocco (15K tonnes in 2016), Spain (6.5K tonnes), Indonesia (5.9K tonnes), China (2.9K tonnes) and Romania (2.0K tonnes), represented more than three-quarters of global snails output. In Morocco, production levels increased by +4.8% annually from 2007 to 2016. The other countries also indicated a moderate growth in terms of snail output; by contrast, in Romania, it remained relatively flat over the period under review.

Approx. 80% of the snail output is intended for exports

Snails is a widely traded commodity, with the share of export in total global output being about 80% in 2007-2016. High trade intensity is determined mainly by the substantial distances between the main centers of snails manufacturing and key consuming countries.

Morocco remains the largest snail supplier to the global market

In 2016, the volume of global exports totaled 33K tonnes, with a mixed trend pattern over the last few years. A sharp 15% decline in 2010 was followed by robust growth through to 2014. However, it plunged again in the next year and then flattened in 2016.

Morocco (9.2K tonnes), Indonesia (4.3K tonnes), Romania (2.7K tonnes), France (2.6K tonnes), China (1.9K tonnes), and Bosnia and Herzegovina (1.4K tonnes) were the main global suppliers of snails with a combined share of 66% of the global exports. From 2007 to 2016, Romania (+23.6% per year) and France (+23.3% per year) were the fastest growing suppliers among the major exporters.

Spain (10.2K tonnes), France (6.4K tonnes) constituted main importers of snails

The volume of global imports totaled 31K tonnes in 2016, which equated $119M of the total value of imports. Imports dynamics was generally in line with exports: this trade flows globally complement each other. 

In 2016, Spain (10.2K tonnes), France (6.4K tonnes), Bosnia (1.7K tonnes) and Portugal (1.6K tonnes) were the leading destinations of snails imports, together making up 63% of global imports. From 2007 to 2016, Bosnia and Herzegovina had the highest growth rates of imports, with a CAGR of +24.9%; given the significant export volumes which almost mirrored those of imports, a rapid increase could be largely attributed to the re-exports. Romania (+12.1%) and France (+11.6%) also recorded tangible increase in terms of snail imports over the period under review.