Bulgarian White Shells Ltd. seeks inroads to Asian market at SEA 2018

Bulgarian White Shells Ltd. made its first-ever appearance at Seafood Expo Asia 2018, with the goal of marketing products coming out of its new processing facility that came online earlier in the year. 

The company showcased multiple bivalves, with two unique products attracting buyers: Large whelks (Rapana venosa) and pasteurized white-shell clams called Tellina (Donax trunculus). The small white clams, with a bright purple interior, are pasteurized and frozen and shipped inside vacuum packs of various sizes. The whelks, which come from the southern Black Sea, are large in size and shipped frozen in 10-kilogram plastic bags.

Bulgarian White Shells is the first company in the Balkans region producing the product from its facility in the Chernomorets, in the Burgas province of Bulgaria. The facility is capable of processing 15,000 kilograms day.

“We supply mainly the European market with the clams,” said Nina Vasileva, commercial director or Bulgarian White Shells. “And now we are trying to develop the Asian market. Mainly looking for Korea, Japan, [and] China to import our whelk meat.”

The company's product can also be shipped fresh to markets in Asia, and has already caught the attention of some high-end restaurants, Vasileva said.

“For them it’s a little bit new, but we have two inquiries for Michelin-star restaurants, which are very interested,” she said. 

She credits the interest to both the products uniqueness and its quality. 

“We insist on our quality, first of all,” she said. “Every product we have is with perfect quality, it is purified, cleaned from sand, cleaned from other particles, and tested in a credited laboratory.”

A wild-caught product, the Tellina are tested regularly to ensure they don’t contain contamination or bacteria, according to Vasileva. Following its first foray into Asia, the company hopes to make further in-roads into the U.S. market, she said.

“We have the capacity, we are big enough,” she said. 


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