Proliferation of Caviar Brands - What's behind it?

Don’t know if it’s just me but there seems to be a new caviar brand almost every other week!

Anyone else notice this? What’s driving this phenomenon the past 1 - 2 years? New farms, suppliers? Oversupply? What (if any) concerns? QC? etc

Unfortunately prices aren’t really inching down as much as I’d like

Curious if anyone is in the know.

Seems to be that China is making a big push into the caviar market. It’s often difficult to tell where it’s coming from, quality isn’t bad but don’t know how much about their environmental practices though

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Yes sourcing is not transparent at the moment, just very generic references to country of origin. Not much else. And farms are popping up all over the world - US, China, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Israel, Uruguay, Saudi, UAE, Vietnam, Scandinavia etc etc

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Paging @Clayfu

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Caviar transparency is one of the worst things in food goods. One of the largest brands in the world is really just using Kaluga Queen for the BULK of their product, but you’d never know.

China has already been the premier world producer of farmed caviar and it’s been like that for awhile now. Kaluga Queen has been one of the largest farms in the world for decade+ and it’s getting bigger every year.

The increase in caviar brands you see are two fold

  1. Kaluga queen sells wholesale and as your article mentioned, they are ramping up significantly- they let others stick their own labels and sell. They have low end caviar and higher end caviar depending on what the business wants to sell. You’re starting to see a proliferation of low end cheap cheap osetra caviar come out (note the incredibly dark black eggs) because of it. Some restaurants also use it to with food.

  2. As @Sgee mentioned - farms are popping up everywhere now. The major farms are in CA, Netherlands, Israel, Germany, Iran. But for TOP TOP shelf caviar , it’s still coming out of China. The bulk of 3 star restaurants in France use chinese caviar.

side note - I’m part of a caviar brand - we are not affiliated with Kaluga Queen and we work with a small farm in China putting out high end caviar. Not looking to shill - just discussing where I’m coming from.

feel free to ask any questions - I take pride in our transparency.


Thanks for the insight! What distinguishes higher end vs low end caviar?

age of the sturgeon (older the better), care of handling eggs, quality of eggs allowed through, timing of age on salt, cleanliness of the farm etc. This all transfers to the final quality in the tin.


We are planning on having caviar for Christmas or New Years. Is there a store, preferably close to North OC, you would recommend? Or brands to keep a look out for? In previous years I’ve tried SM Seafood, Hi Times, Bristol Farms and Whole Foods. Thanks in advance.

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You can try Jeff Bovan from J&J distributors. He is based in Gardena. I’m not a caviar expert but i liked it

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Not at all close to North OC but Epicurus Gourmet has excellent caviar in stock. They have frozen blini as well, but I haven’t the blini as I make my own (they are very easy and so good when fresh!)

There’s an interesting segment about Chinese caviar about halfway through this not-great documentary.