According to the classic reading, the can color reveals the variety. But product marketing has now found its way here, so that not much can be derived from the can. Consumers now recognize the legality by the label. A code provides information about the type of sturgeon from which the caviar comes, as well as the origin, country of production, year of harvest and packing company.
For example, the first three letters “HUE” stand for the roe species Beluga, a “C” in the second position of the code means aquaculture. Then, “DE” indicates the origin from Germany. In order to be sure of the type of caviar, consumers should also take a close look at the small print. Among other things, the note “malossol”, lightly salted, should not be missing. Salt makes the caviar delicate and durable.
Caviar is the epitome of luxury. Nowadays gourmets can look forward to inexpensive feasting – thanks to American fishermen. Alaska caviar is currently flooding the Russian market and causing prices to plummet. A kilogram of American salmon caviar is already available in Moscow for 700 rubles, which is just less than 20 francs. Fish eggs from domestic production, on the other hand, cost 1200 rubles, as Timur Murtupow reports from the Russian fisheries authority. And that is already a significantly lower price than usual.
“The reason for the price difference is the record catch in Alaska,” emphasizes Murtupow. There, around 600,000 tons of salmon went online this year – two and a half times more than in 2012. The US fishermen sell the majority of their caviar yield to Russia. “There is no interest in red caviar in the United States,” says Moscow fishery expert Mikhail Glubokovsky.
Experts believe that the new drop in prices is also due to the fact that importers mark their goods at customs far below value. The state thereby escapes millions of euros in taxes. Russia has no longer been able to isolate its market since the country became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The caviar business is of little importance for the Russian economy. After all, the roughly 13,000 tons of fish eggs bring in around 30 billion rubles (845 million francs) a year. Above all, caviar is still of great symbolic importance for Russia and should not be missing on any menu.
The noble black caviar from the eggs of sturgeon fish can hardly be paid for. A 50-gram jar is available in online shops for CHF 85 to 90. The animals from the Caspian Sea are under strict species protection. That is why the red salmon caviar is almost always traded, whose eggs are also larger than those of sturgeons.
Dozens of wholesalers who purchase their caviar through us speak a clear language. Sustainable rearing of sturgeons is of the utmost importance to us in order to be able to meet ecological responsibility here too.
Top caviar producers
There is hardly any food that is more exclusive than the roe of sturgeon. Caviar is pure luxury. And luxury is not easy in times like these, when every franc is turned over twice. Why also, the normal mortal wonders, should I invest in fish eggs if there is a week of sunbathing in the Balearic Islands for the same money?
Roman Schätti of Porimex Trading AG in Lachen calculates that 100 g Beluga caviar today costs around 650; a quantity just enough to satisfy the hunger of a single gourmet. But maybe a mother-of-pearl spoonful of heaped Sevrugas will do: A classic starter of 30 g would cost 75 CHF per person. In the mid-1990s, the same amount still cost about half. Schätti also confirms this: “The prices in purchasing have increased by about 80% in the past few years, we had to add 60% to sales.”
“Like all other luxury items, caviar is currently suffering from the economic situation,” says Emilio Plant, Head of Purchasing at the Gourmet Factory in Jelmoli Zurich. Sales have declined in the last few years, but you don’t want to take the fries out of the range, Plant says: “Caviar is an absolute must for a business like ours. And there will always be lovers who don’t want to do without this delicacy”.
The roe of the sturgeon, usually spread on toast or pancakes, is by no means everyone’s favorite in aroma and consistency. It is not uncommon for Beluga, Sevruga and Ossietra (see also box) to be served less because of the epicurean praise rather than to mark economic well-being. Indeed, the days when yuppies brushed the “black gold” with the Nutella spoon onto the Parisett by the kilo are now a thing of the past.
The roe of the sturgeon went through the change from spawning to luxury goods in the 19th century. Efficient cooling options and fast transport connections made it land more or less fresh on the table of the European upper class. With each festive buffet, the demand and thus the value of the caviar increased.
Switzerland has long played an important role in the trade with delicacies. Until well into the 1990s, the inland served as a hub for the international market. In 1998, 66 t of caviar were officially imported and 35 of them exported. Tempi passati. Today, according to the Federal Veterinary Office (BVet), it is not even 10 t that find its way from Switzerland to the Caspian Sea every year; just 3.5 t were exported last year.
In spring 1998, the supplier of the caviar, the sturgeon, landed on Appendix II of the CITES agreement (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). This gave the fish more protection, the fishermen more restrictions and controls. The main aim of these measures is to put an end to illegal sturgeon fishermen and traders, who, in the opinion of species conservation groups, are primarily responsible for the worldwide decline in sturgeon stocks.
Thomas Althaus from BVet also interprets that the amount of caviar processed is shrinking as a direct result of the stricter laws in both the producing and the importing countries. In addition, according to his assessment, it is simply too cumbersome for many traders to do business with the non-EU country of Switzerland in view of the necessary import and export papers. They are looking for direct traffic without going through the former hub in the heart of Europe.
At Porimex, which together with the Geneva Caviar House is one of the best Swiss addresses when it comes to caviar, other reasons for the massive slump in the market have been identified. “The traditional customers for caviar have always been the travel and hotel industry,” explains Roman Schätti, “but it is known that these branches are in a crisis, and airline orders, for example, have declined significantly.” If there is a need to save, this naturally happens first of all for items that are reducible or entirely dispensable. Like the luxury item caviar.
At Porimex, it is estimated that caviar sales have declined by 30 to 40% in the last four or five years. Cost-conscious gourmets are looking for alternatives and will find it with goose liver and game fish. However, true gourmands, Emilio Plant is sure that they will not compromise, especially not during the festive season: “For lovers, the alternative to caviar is not caviar at all.”
Global caviar market research 2020 provides a fundamental overview of the industry, including definitions, classifications, applications and structure of the industry chain. The global caviar market share analysis is provided for international markets, including development trends, competitive landscape analysis and development status of key regions. Development guidelines and plans are discussed and manufacturing processes and cost structures are analyzed. This report also includes information about import / export consumption, supply and demand, cost, price, sales, and gross margins. This report analyzes the production locations, capacity, production, ex-factory price, sales and market share of caviar in the global market for each covered manufacturer.
The global caviar market is expected to grow significantly in the forecast period between 2020 and 2026. The market grew steadily in 2020, and with the increasing adoption of strategies by key players, the market is expected to rise above the projected horizon.
List of TOP KEY PLAYERS according to the Caviar Market Report 2020:
- Agroittica Lombarda
- Caviar de France
- Sterling caviar
- Black River Sturgeon
- Beluga Inc VIDIN
- Caviar Court
- Caviar de Riofrio
- Osage Caviar
- Aviar Galilee Farm
- Caviar creator
- Russian Caviar House
- California Caviar Company
- Hangzhou Qiandaohu Xunlong Sci-tech
- Hubei Tianxia Fisheries
- Amur Group
- Runzhao Fisheries.