The corona plague and the closures it brought with it caused significant slowdowns in almost all markets and areas, including the prestigious food market in general and the caviar market in particular. Luxury restaurants were closed, glittering events were canceled and cruise ships did not sail from the ports. All of these looked like harbingers of disaster for the world’s black caviar manufacturers, which are mostly sold at events and venues of this kind.
But it turns out that the picture is not so gloomy. The caviar manufacturers testify that sales have recovered since the first closures of 2020, thanks to online platforms that allowed the gourmet diners who wanted to eat the sumptuous delicacy at home. The increase in black caviar sales is led by the United States, where they have actually doubled.
What has contributed to the increase in caviar sales to home consumers is beyond the smaller packages of caviar, which are sold both in stores and online. The American company Sterling Caviar, the owner of four farms in California and the largest caviar producer in the country, said that its sales increased by 10% in 2021. In the UK, one of the two leading manufacturers, Exmoor Caviar, sold all its stock as early as the end of 2020.
Black caviar, considered the pinnacle of luxury cuisine, is actually eggs soaked in salt by sturgeon females, which take between 5 and 14 years to produce. Originally these eggs could only be produced in the Caspian Sea, but since 2006 sturgeon fishing has been banned in the area. The caviar has since been produced from sturgeon fish grown in agricultural ponds around the world, so all the caviar that is legally sold worldwide is that of a sturgeon grown in lakes and man-made ponds.
The global agricultural sturgeon industry was worth $ 848 million in 2019, according to the latest data from the Norwegian company Kontali, which tracks the fish farm sector worldwide.