Today, the international caviar market is experiencing an upsurge. Manufacturers offer new products and expand existing niches.
The global size of a caviar market is expected to pass the mark of USD 326.6 million in 2020 (Grand View Research, Inc.). By the year 2025, its estimated volume will reach USD 496.3 million. The expected GAGR is 8.7% over the period from 2015 to 2025. Where do these numbers come from?
Let’s look at the three main reasons why caviar producers are winning the hearts of ever new consumers.
Caviar is one of the most nutritious and balanced foods in the world. It is rich in:
- long-chain omega-3 fatty acids
- eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
- docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
- vitamins A, E, B6, B12.
The first reason for the growth of caviar markets is that the healing properties of caviar are becoming more and more popular.
In medical practice, nutritionists increasingly prescribe a diet that includes caviar. These means are called to compensate for patients’ nutrient deficiencies and treat diabetes, obesity, heart illnesses etc. and to control impotency.
On the other hand, pharmaceutical companies raise demand for caviar products. They use various extracts in preparation of tablets, capsules, and liquid forms of medicines. They draw close attention of consumers to these products and eventually cause the market expansion. Thus, volumes of consumed beluga caviar, kaluga caviar, osetra caviar, sevruga caviar, american caviar etc. grow.
The second reason why consumption of best caviar raises is of course restaurant business. Best types of caviar are strongly associated with a luxurious life; they are coveted in the demanding world of culinary. It is consumed as much for appearances as it is for flavor.
For many gourmets, caviar is a lifestyle, a recognized symbol of luxury living. Status solemn events rarely do without caviar dishes. Here’s one of the professional tricks from the HoReCa world. Restaurants use caviar, like other types of delicacies to explain high prices for courses. In the eye of a guest, dishes, where fine caviar is listed in the composition, can cost an order of magnitude more. No matter its amount in a very dish.
When we talk about inexpensive caviar, it’s predominantly consumed by beginners to gain a taste for it. Its color is less bright and its taste is less intense. By the way, the most common less expensive substitutes for black gold as they call black caviar are the following.
- Salmon roe: red eggs are often used in cuisine as garnish.
- Trout roe: golden eggs are famous appetizers, and also served as a garnish.
- Hackleback: these eggs are dark brown or deep black, and they have nutty taste.
- Paddlefish’s eggs have a buttery, earthy flavor and grey color.
- In addition, the solution for vegetarians is seaweed caviar, which is a seaweed mixed with spices and shaped into balls.
Also, the increase in usage of dried caviar powder is noticeable. It is increasingly used as a seasoning or as a sprinkle.
The third reason why caviar market grows is inspirational. The new more humane way to produce fish eggs gains popularity. During the process, the female fish gets stunned, its ovaries are extracted and thus there’s no need to kill a fish. This method is highly discussed and gets implemented exponentially.
Which countries are the key global caviar market players?
The Caspian Sea is well known to be a home to Osetra, Sevruga and Beluga sturgeon. The very fine caviar comes from this region, and the story of its worldwide success counts hundreds of years. Also, Iran produces perfect quality caviar which satisfies the most exhausted tastes. Recently, like in many other branches, China has become one of the biggest caviar exporters in the world, representing top caviar producers. Caviar business in Europe is also strong, and the main caviar manufacturing countries are Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and France.
Major operating players, the leading companies by countries
As mentioned earlier, China has become the #1 producer in the world bringing multiple strong caviar brands. Currently, China supplies one-third of the entire world year amount of caviar. The biggest company here is Kaluga Queen. The growth rate of production in this company is amazing and amounts to 20-30% per year.
Needless to say, China floods the global market and it is an exact reason why prices for products get down quite fast. This is obviously good for consumers, but many out of China companies now critically lose their positions and have to phase down production.
The country has caviar in many traditional dishes. And it’s not surprising that it is one of the leading manufacturers in the world. As always at the peak of innovation, Japan will massively awaken new solutions in the fishing business. For example, the company Miyazaki (the largest meat producer) is now closely studying sturgeon farming. It is believed that mild spring waters of Miyazaki will be an ideal spot for caviar production without harming the aquaculture.
Caviar business in Europe expands as demand rapidly grows, due to the reasons mentioned earlier. The biggest manufacturers here are:
- Agroittica Lombarda (Italy)
- Caviar de France (France)
- Beluga Inc. VIDIN (Bulgaria)
- Caviar de Riofrio (Spain)
The very word “caviar” comes from the Persian word “Khaviar” – “bearing eggs”. The country cultivates sturgeons near Bandar Torkaman. Here positions in the business are historically strong. Iran carefully balances an ecosystem and each year it releases around 20~22M sturgeon fishes in the Caspian Sea.
The heavyweight manufacturers are:
- Negin Astara Khazar
- Caspian monarque
Harvesting or sale of “slaughter caviar” in Russia has been banned since 2007. Nevertheless, Russian Caviar House fish farm is one of the largest in Europe.
- Sterling Caviar
- Osage Caviar
In this country, caviar business has been developed for centuries. Its company Target Marine Hatcheries became the first in North America to produce organic caviar when it started a “Northern Divine” brand.
- Caviar Court
- Deluxe caviar
- The Lime caviar company
As noted earlier, today China grows a huge amount of caviar at a fairly low price. The labor of workers here is cheap, and the use of preserving agents is not a subject to severe restrictions.
How has this trend affected world prices and the actions of other market players?
Take for example companies from the USA. Since 2012, they are inevitably forced to lower prices for their products or die. For example, not so long ago, Dale Sherrow, vice president of Seattle Caviar, revealed a market insight. He said that one of the American manufacturers has recently been forced to cut prices by 25%. He called it “a real fight.”
Another North Carolina Marshallberg Farm fishery made a forced statement. Its sales fell by half between 2015 and 2017. At the same time, this farm at the peak of capacity can produce from five to six metric tons of caviar per year. “We simply cannot compete with China,” admits Liann Won, managing director of the company.
Note that manufacturers from the United States received serious government support. In September 2018, the United States introduced a 10% tax on Chinese caviar.
Not surprisingly, investors pay close attention to this constantly growing niche.
Today, anywhere in the world, anyone can buy the best caviar online. The development of online trading is massively spurring consumers. The sophisticated approach to online marketing allows young dealers to gain a client quite confidently and quickly. The research and development sector in this industry is showing a lot of innovation.
The Internet and general economic trends make it possible to increase per capita income in developing economies. In countries like Brazil, Argentina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, India, Indonesia and others, an increasing amount of people now can not only taste caviar for the first time but also include it to their diet.
Mentioned above Kaluga Queen, the largest manufacturer from China shows 20-30% growth rate of production. And, according to Xia Yuntao, Deputy General Director of Kaluga Queen, the company expects to maintain such a growth rate for five years. What about the quality of their products? Well, for example, Kaluga Queen caviar is served in many prestigious restaurants in Paris. It is also bought by the leading German airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG, and many Michelin-starred restaurants choose it. As they say, there is nothing to add. What about production volumes. Fasten seat belts! This producer last year produced more than 100 tons of black caviar, and this accounts for about 30% of all world production.
In the end, let’s touch on the critical topic of environmental friendliness of caviar cultivation. It is no secret that fisheries have undermined the aquatic ecosystems of many countries, and most caviar fish are listed in the Red Book. This fact was taken away from you in Russia after the world ban on slaughter. About 90% of all black caviar in the world. Now, about 99% of the caviar produced, according to an insider, is extracted by the intravital method. Production of high-quality caviar. However, let’s look at these little-known cons.
Firstly, at one of the stages, a fish is given a hormonal injection to induce “childbirth” and to seal the grain. Such a product is considered immature. Secondly, warm water is used to wash the grains; otherwise, do not rinse off the mucus and strengthen the grain, which leads to mini-pasteurization and loss of beneficial properties. Thirdly, with each subsequent “milking” the caviar becomes more and more “empty” – fewer nutrients and vitamins. The method was invented by Russian specialists for the purpose of fertilization, and the grain that was rejected went on sale and was a by-product. Milking is a method of reproduction, and not for production.
Nevertheless, vegan trend is sustainable, fast-growing and truly loud. And, this means that caviar business will have to find a way to produce caviar… without the exploitation of fish.
And, key global caviar market players get ready even to such a turn.