Pescaviar, Innovation for the Bounty from the Sea
The Spanish food industry is committed to giving its all with regard to innovation. Every year, new products are launched that seek to unite concepts like research, health, flavor and, more often than not, an element of play.
Text: Rodrigo García Fernández/@ICEX.
In 1990, a small team embarked on a research and development (R+D) process that lasted seven years and yielded an alternative product to sturgeon caviar; one made from wild herring from the North Sea.
To obtain this product, the team investigated more than forty different species of fish in search of the best alternative. And so, Avruga was born, a product considered the first gourmet caviar substitute on the market. In 1997, Pescaviar was created to commercialize this product in Spain, and as a means to promote its international expansion. In just twenty years the company was present in more than 35 countries, both in the finest restaurants and in the large-scale distribution channel.
Pescaviar’s quality has made it possible for its products to be found in places as emblematic as Harrod’s, Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason department stores in London; the Four Seasons Hotels in Vancouver and Toronto; the Hilton and Marriot Hotels in Singapore; the Hotel Okura and the Four Seasons Chinzanso in Tokyo; as well as restaurants like that of the Hotel Mandarín in Hong-Kong and Cilantro Restaurant & Wine Bar at the Ritz Carlton Osaka.
One of the identifying features of Pescaviar’s working philosophy is its emphasis on making the most natural products possible. In the words of Verónique García, in the company’s export department, “our company’s intention has always been to minimize the use of additives and, as much as possible, to use the most natural ingredients available, like alginate, which is extracted from seaweed. If we do use a coloring agent, it is also natural, such as oleoresin from pimentón.”
Sustainability, an identifying trait
Pescaviar is also extremely proud of its commitment to the sustainability of the oceans. They are fully conscious of the obligation that institutions, citizens and private companies have with regard to protecting our marine environment.
Proof of this is the fact that Pescaviar was one of the first Spanish companies to incorporate MSC certification (from the Marine Stewardship Council, a program that seeks to transform international markets for marine products by steering towards a model that awards and promotes sustainable practices).
“We have always had a strong commitment to the quality values of our products and their manufacturing processes, and we believe that the sustainable fishing certification is a quality guarantee that indicates respect for the environment. Currently, our Arënkha herring products and the herring pearls from Spherika Gourmet have this certification,” explains Verònique García.
More innovation, new products
Pescaviar has two factories in Spain, located in Cantabria and Murcia. Their products are sold internationally through distributors and are principally targeted at professionals (chef, restaurants and hotels).
One of the company’s most successful products is the herring pearls – its very first product – which was launched more than twenty years ago. Verònique García confirms that, “after so long, our customers are still loyal to these herring pearls, both in our star format (Avruga) and under the Spherika Gourmet and Arënkha brands.”
Pescaviar is immersed in a continual process to improve on the products it has, and to design new ones. One of its most recent launches was that of the Fresh Pearls of extra virgin olive oil (exclusively marketed to professionals), the brand Spherika Gourmet (pearls and natural fish roe) and the Chovas spreads.
With a base of top-quality cheese mixed with diverse types of selected fish, the Chovas spreads are a healthy choice over more classic pâtés. They can be easily spread on toast, and with the help of a pastry bag, yield very professional-looking canapés. They can also be turned into perfect mousses with a siphon. They are currently available in five different flavors: lobster, crab, rockfish, salmon and scallop.
Translation: Adrienne Smith/©ICEX