Chefs around the world are adding caviar to their menus in anticipation of higher sales, bolstered by Gen Z consumers who have popularized the delicacy on social media by taking “bumps” of the sturgeon roe for millions of viewers.
This latest social media trend entails taking a dollop of caviar, placing it on the back of one’s hand, and eating it. The trend has continued to spread widely via TikTok, with the hashtag #CaviarBumps currently racking up around 15 million views on the app.
“We expect this trend to continue into 2024, with more chefs putting it on their menus and our customers buying it to serve as an impressive appetizer at their dinner parties,” said Andrew Bird, the head of food at U.K.-based department store Selfridges, which has a Caviar House and Prunier-sponsored champagne and oyster bar at its location in the London neighborhood of Mayfair, and also sells the product to-go.
Another factor driving sales is that caviar – traditionally known to be an expensive delicacy – has become more affordable.
“Wild caviar is completely unaffordable, but now China, Netherlands, France, Uruguay, and the United States have nailed the farming practices,” Ariel Arce, the owner of digital caviar delivery service CaviAIR, said. “Caviar now can be approachable and affordable.”
Even farmed caviar is still considered a delicacy among many consumers, according to Miami, Florida, U.S.A.-based private chef Josh Blum, but trends like caviar bumps are helping break the ice for mass consumerism. Blum told the New York Times in 2022 that, among several other experiences that have proven to him that caviar’s popularity is here to stay, he gave a caviar bump to well-known DJ Diplo at a Formula 1 race in Miami.
“It was pretty funny,” he said. “I think it was his first time doing it, and he loved it.”
The popularity of consuming caviar has also manifested in other nontraditional ways, with parents offering caviar to their children, some are as young as 18 months, according to the New York Post.
“The kids call them pop rocks of the sea,” Sushi By Bou Chef Richie Romero said. “We’re seeing kids as young as elementary school come in and bankrupt their parents.”
Backing up Romero’s claims, Anna Dozortzev, the owner of New York City-based Ikraa Caviar, said that she imports caviar from Italy, France, and China and has released a Caviar Picnic Pack, which has been a hit among families with children.
“We’ve noticed many of our clients like to buy caviar for their kids – not just for themselves,” Dozortsev said. “Caviar is considered one of the most nutritious foods in the world. It’s full of proteins packed with omega-3 fatty acids. It supports critical brain function.”
More well-known food brands have also followed the trend of making caviar more accessible and approachable, best evidenced by Pringles recently announcing a partnership with The Caviar Co. that led to the launch of its Crisps and Caviar Collection.
The partnership reflects Americans’ growing love for caviar, particularly among younger demographics, according to The Caviar Co. CEO Petra Higby.
“We founded The Caviar Co. on a mission to make caviar more approachable, so our consumers are very familiar with the crisps and caviar pairing and similar unexpected pairings that we offer in our Tiburon Caviar and Champagne Lounge, like ice cream and caviar, popcorn and caviar, and more,” Higby said.
In 2022, caviar sales exceeded USD 100 million (EUR 93.4 million) in the U.S., according to Fact.MR, and the research firm predicted a compound annual growth rate of 7.6 percent for the sector through 2033.
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