Frozen ceviche, flavored hake slices top Peru’s new value-added offerings

Frozen, prepared ceviche and flavored hake slices are Peru’s latest value-added creations in a campaign the country’s marketing board hopes will increase the value of the country’s seafood exports.

Karl Berger, coordinator of the fisheries product department at Promperu, and Ana Maria Deustua, the economic attaché for the Embassy of Peru’s mission to the European Union, told SeafoodSource at the 2018 Seafood Expo Global on Tuesday, 24 April that the ceviche and hake products are part of an effort to diversify the country’s seafood product offerings.

“These are unique products crafted out of the country’s rich maritime resources that reflect the country’s culinary culture,” Deustua  said. “It is an effort to offer more variety in finished products, and to widen the interest in Peruvian seafood in the European market.”

After generating more than USD 32.5 million (EUR 26.6 million) in business at the 2018 Seafood Expo North America in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. in March 2018, the Peruvian delegation, composed of 22 companies, has set the goal of doing USD 90 million (EUR 73.6 million) in business at the global expo taking place in Brussels, Belgium.

Squid and shrimp represent half of Peruvian seafood exports, according to Berger, but Peru’s long-term goal is to diversify both its product offerings and the number of markets it serves. The creation of a new organization overseeing a push for more oversight and better management of the Pacific jumbo flying squid fishery in Peru and other South American countries is helping to appeal to consumers’ demand for more sustainable products. And Peru’s small but growing shrimp aquaculture sector, based in the country’s northern district of Tumbes, produced 23,000 metric tons of product in 2017.

“Our shrimp aquaculture sector is growing slowly but constantly,” Berger said. “We are aiming for slow, sustainable growth, with a steady improvement in our technology and production levels.”

A few Peruvian firms are also aiming more coquilles St. Jacques, or great scallops, toward the European market, Deustua said. 

While the United States is still the top destination for Peruvian seafood, Europe now represents 35 percent of the Peruvian exports of seafood for direct human consumption, a total worth USD 332 million (EUR 271.4 million) in 2017. And that excludes the country’s leading position in the export of fishmeal. 

“For a lot of years, the U.S. was the main market for us, and it still is, but we have very interesting developments now in Spain, France, and Italy – our companies and products are coming to Europe more and more,” Berger said. “We are also increasing our sales in Asia, particularly to Japan and [South] Korea. It’s quite important to work toward diversification. “


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