Due to the market disruption caused by the pandemic, there have been several shifts in the market brought on by a shift in consumer consumption patterns. Consumption of Caviar has increased, due to the health benefits offered by the fish roe. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, customers focused on maintaining their well-being, which boosted sales of healthy and nutritional supplements globally.
In a nutshell, the following facts and stats apply to Caviarand te market as a whole in 2022:
- Caviar is any single salted fish roe or egg.
- The best Caviar comes from the icy waters of the Caspian Sea from mature sturgeon fish, which can live up to 60 years.
- 95% of the Caviar produced in the world comes from the Caspian Sea.
- Only three sturgeon species produce this caviar: Beluga, Osetra, and Sevruga.
- Caviar is high in omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, and vitamin B12.
- The global Caviar market will reach $540 million by the end of 2025.
- Europe and the US consume the most caviar.
- Caviar sales in the UK soared in 2021.
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A Closer Look At The Caviar Market
Caviar is an expensive delicacy consisting of the unfertilised eggs (roe) of sturgeon brined with a salt solution. Classic caviar comes primarily from Iran or Russia, harvested by commercial fishermen working in the Caspian Sea. A specific species of sturgeon called beluga provide what many consider to be the best in the world.
The growth rate of global Caviar consumption is rapidly rising. Europe and the US are still the main consumption regions due to the advanced production technology and rapid development of the economy.
The global Caviar market was valued at $360 million in 2018 and will reach $540 million by the end of 2025, growing at a CAGR of 5.3% during 2019-2025.
Why Is Caviar So Expensive?
Firstly Caviar has a very short shelf life. Caviar can come in food-grade metal tins/ cans or glass jars. Most foodies choose tinned caviar because it is not pasteurised with a good flavour.
The sturgeon family consists of 27 species of fish. They live in rivers and sea basins in many parts of Europe, Asia, and North America. The best and most expensive caviar comes from sturgeon species that live in the Black and Caspian Seas.
Nowadays, however, Caspian sturgeons can come from anywhere around the world thanks to farming. In fisheries, people can breed various types of sturgeon and harvest their eggs. Those farms can be found in many countries, with China as the biggest producer.
Farming has dramatically affected the price of caviar. Farmed caviar costs less than the wild variety and helps save wild sturgeons.
Although caviar was popular with ancient Greeks and Persians, by the 19th century it was far from being a luxury. Poor peasants ate it with bread in Europe.
But everything changed when the ruling family of the Russian Empire took a liking to it. Premier Caviar was reserved for royalty. Through the Russian monarchy, aristocrats and wealthy people from other regions learnt to appreciate and acquired a taste for Caviar.
It takes an enormous amount of time and effort to make Caviar. Catching wild sturgeons and harvesting their eggs is a meticulous task, but it is even more strenuous to farm them.
A sturgeon lays millions of eggs at a time, but only a dozen of them can survive into adulthood. It takes anywhere between 8 to 20 years to grow into a sexually mature sturgeon. Taking care of the fish for such a long time undoubtedly pushes up the price of caviar.
It is arduous to harvest and prepare sturgeon eggs, be it wild or farm-raised. The task requires so much precision and delicacy that no automation is involved yet. The roes have to be removed, screened, washed, and cured by hand.
Types of Caviar
Generally, the most expensive Caviar comes from sturgeon species living around the Black and Caspian Seas. Sharing the coastlines of those seas, Russia and Iran are leading producers of high-quality Caviar.
Some of the most popular types and most expensive Caviar are Beluga Caviar, Osetra Caviar, and Sevruga Caviar.
Kaluga caviar doesn’t come from the Caspian region but it is just as expensive. The reason is its similar taste to the beluga variety. There is also a gold variety of Kaluga Caviar which fetches an even higher price.
Outside the Black and Caspian Seas, there are species of caviar-grade sturgeon in Siberia, China, and North America. They produce caviar that is significantly lower in price than the four types mentioned above.
Currently, about 80 nations export caviar to other countries. The main challenge for sturgeon aquaculture will be to spread a positive image of farmed caviar, thus introducing the aspects of excellence related to extensive aquaculture.
The Move To Sustainability
The BBC reported earlier this year that Caviar sales have soared as more and more people are developing a taste for “posh fish eggs”
The world’s first lab-grown caviar has been developed by a British company in a bid to modernise the luxury product, according to British newsgroup iNews.
Exmoor Caviar, which produces sustainable caviar at a sturgeon farm in Devon, has been working with leading scientists from UK universities to cultivate eggs using cells derived from the fish. This means a new style of “animal-free” caviar would be made possible within two or three years.
They use biotech to grow cells using proteins and lipids derived from the fish.
Let’s turn to how to enjoy your Caviar experience.
How To Eat Caviar Like A Millionaire
Because Caviar is so expensive, people don’t want to waste it. Here’s how to eat it properly. When buying, look for shiny, fine-grained egg globules that are sturdy and unbroken.
How to Serve Caviar
Fine caviar should be served very cold in a non-metallic bowl nested inside a larger bowl filled with ice. Avoid metal bowls and utensils, which may impart a metallic taste to the caviar. Choose servers and utensils made of glass, bone, tortoiseshell, wood, plastic, or in true oligarch style, mother-of-pearl or gold.
When eating caviar, resist the urge to chew. Instead, you should treat caviar like a fine wine and roll the eggs around your mouth to savour the rich flavour and unique texture.
Before eating, smell the aroma, then place a small amount in your mouth. Between tastings, it is recommended you cleanse your palate, which is why champagne and vodka pair so well with caviar.
What Food to Serve With Caviar?
Good Caviar is best served simply, possibly alongside toast points or bland, unsalted crackers.
So remember, with friends, you might not have to worry too much about how to eat caviar properly. In a restaurant, one might want to follow proper protocol.
- Don’t eat too much when served caviar as an hors d’oeuvre, no matter how much you might be tempted by its luscious flavour. It’s considered gauche to eat more than an ample serving of about two spoonfuls.
- Don’t chew Caviar. Eat caviar with your tongue to feel the beads of fish eggs and taste the buttery fat.
- Take small bites of Caviar. It’s an expensive product, and it should be savoured and enjoyed. Start with about a half-teaspoon and really luxuriate in the experience of eating Caviar.
Purists will also disagree with the commonly preferred beverage of Champagne with Caviar, and demand only a straight shot of the finest frozen vodka, preferably Russian. The neutral taste of high-quality vodka won’t affect the flavour of the caviar.