Shellfish farming is the most common and the most established activity of aquaculture in France and in EU15.
Such as main suppliers of mussels and oysters, mariculture production makes up the referent market for bivalves molluscs,
unlike most other aquatic species for which capture fisheries are prevalent. Moreover, the specificity of oyster cultivation is
marked with respect to the French position which is both leader and almost self sufficient on the European market. The
sustainable development of shellfish farming is analysed through a demand-oriented-approach . The field of the study
covers trading and marketing issues as well as consumer analysis. The comparison between the mussel and the oyster market
highlight some key differences, in terms of distribution network, identification of origin and products differentiation,
consumer profiles and regions. This lead to examine deeply the ways of market segmentation in relation with the image of
the product and the consumer expectations. Quantitative surveys, mainly consumer panels, are used over a 15 years period to
attempt a dynamic approach of the age criteria (consumers life cycle and generation effect). This is completed by a
qualitative analysis of consumer attitude towards shellfish and an overview of the current innovation process in the two
Girard, S. and C. Mariojouls. Analysis of the French demand for oysters and mussels, within the European market. In: Microbehavior and Macroresults:Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute ofFisheries Economics and Trade, July 10-14, 2000, Corvallis, Oregon, USA.Compiled by Richard S. Johnston and Ann L. Shriver. InternationalInstitute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2001.