Road to Brussels: Pescaviar on innovation
By Chris Dove, SeafoodSource.com contributing editor, reporting from Malaga, Spain
Published on 21 March, 2012
Pescaviar has 15 years of accomplishments in caviar innovation and sustainability under its belt.
Based in Madrid, the company has two products among the 37 finalists in this year’s Seafood Prix d’ Elite new products competition — Cocktail Pearls and CHOVAS. Cocktail Pearls are pearls with a liquid core made from fruits and sauces using a technique known as spherification and available in three flavors — Lemon & Lime, Lemon & Pepper and Vinegar & Shallot — while CHOVAS is a rich, creamy seafood-based spread available in six varieties.
Pescaviar’s first successful product launch, AVRUGA in 1998, was followed a year later with MOLUGA, ANCHOVIAR and LOBSVIAR using herring, anchovies and lobster, respectively. These value-added, versatile caviar textures are free of artificial colorings and preservatives.
The winners of the 11th annual Seafood Prix d’ Elite competition will be announced on 24 April at the Parc des Expositions in Brussels, Belgium, during a ceremony immediately following Day 1 of the European Seafood Exposition. SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Chris Dove talks to Pescaviar about its two entries and what sets its products apart from the competition.
Dove: Europe, the United States and Japan are your key markets, and Sainsbury’s, Harrods and chefs in five-star hotels are among your customers. Are Cocktail Pearls and CHOVAS targeted at specific regions, countries or catering establishments?
Pescaviar: Our company philosophy is that our products reach all regions, countries and different distribution channels. To do this, we have different formats in all our product ranges. We have from 60-gram/100-gram jars for the retail sector to 365-gram tray formats for the hotel and catering trade. On the other hand, chefs appreciate the versatility, high quality and unique flavors of our products, while end consumers value their ease of use and excellent value. For this reason, our products can address all channels and “universal gastronomy.”
Explain your philosophy of exploring new techno-emotive trends in high-cuisine seafood.
Haute cuisine has been modernized and is looking for new trends. Pescaviar Cocktail Pearls create art inspired by the avant-garde technique of spherification used by the world’s most prestigious chefs.
Spain’s seafood cocktails and specialist tapas are creating niche markets around the world. How do you test consumer demand before investing in unique caviar creations?
Pescaviar seeks to be pioneers in finding innovative and sophisticated products to meet demand from “gourmet” consumers. This is based on the latest technologies such as culinary blogs, Facebook and Twitter as well as being present in various worldwide food exhibitions. In addition, our business works directly with chefs around the world. We go into their kitchens and listen to their needs. Chefs are the trendsetters, first in their restaurants and later in consumers’ homes.
Taste, aroma and color are signature features of Pescaviar products. Are these distinguishing factors key considerations in your search for innovation?
Taste, aroma and color are related to innovation because without them, our products wouldn’t be unique, original and attractive. In the case of Pearls Cocktail and CHOVAS, we offer a variety of flavors, aromas and colors to match all kinds of dishes while adding a touch of glamor.