Marketing Caviar with Etyan Segal
Etyan Segal is 19 years old and is a pro in marketing caviar. He runs Caviar House, and has come to tell us all about it, as well as how marketing caviar works.
Etyan is our youngest guest on The Next 100 Days Podcast. Also, he’s very young to be heading a very successful, high-end business.
Caviar House is a relatively new company distributing black caviar. It supplies caviar to all over Europe while the caviar is sourced in Latvia, where the production facilities are.
Recently, a branch opened in the UK. Annually, around 5 tons of caviar are consumed in the UK alone. Crazy! Most of that caviar is consumed at home. This is because, in restaurants, caviar has a higher purchase price.
Caviar House’s biggest sector is private clientele. Therefore, Etyan and his business team must focus on marketing trust and reliability. With such a delicate product, reliability and trust is really important for a consumer to buy it. Etyan calls this ‘mouth propaganda.’ That’s got to be a 19 year-old thing!
More than one product…
At the moment, Etyan sells 4 different types of caviar. All are sourced from different types of Sturgeon and so they have different characteristics in terms of taste, size and texture.
Retail prices for the cheapest caviar is £1000 per kg, and the most premium costs £1500 per kg. That’s not obscene when you consider a premium party that you might eat caviar. Caviar isn’t a daily luxury!
When it comes to marketing, Caviar House market themselves…much like any other company. This is very selective marketing. They show the brand at different events and associate with selective companies.
Does caviar travel well?
Like all seafood, it requires a very prompt time scale between purchase and delivery. The business ensures good conditions for the delivery of the product. It will come with ice packs so that the caviar is preserved in the right temperature, which is sub-zero.
Premium customer care
With a -2 degree temperature requirement, Etyan has his very own freezers to keep the caviar good. In fact, he designates special freezers to the customers who buy regularly!
However, when you buy caviar it never stays in the fridge too long…it’s too delicious!
Food of the Gods?
On Etyan’s website, Caviar House Ltd, caviar is called ‘Food of the Gods.’ Does he think it’s the most premium food in the world?
Well, he wouldn’t want to say that. There are other foods in the world that offer the same exclusivity and luxury. Caviar is definitely exquisite but it doesn’t beat other high-end foods. Nevertheless, it’s definitely in the premier league, to phrase it like Graham!
The frequency of the fish producing caviar depends on the farm. The method that Etyan’s business uses means the fish only produce caviar once in its life time. Normally, it takes 8-10 years for the sturgeon to be ready. After producing caviar, it is killed immediately.
Nevertheless, another caviar production process is called ‘milked caviar’. However, this is not a traditional method and does not produce as good results. Etyan has never enjoyed milked caviar!
How did Caviar House come about?
Well, it’s an interesting story. Etyan’s family has always eaten caviar. In fact, his Dad’s friend owned a caviar company. When this friend’s son created his own business, Etyan involved himself. He was about 16. Now it’s established fully, Etyan works well in the business with a few other people.
Marketing to the affluent: how are you targeting your private clients?
As Etyan has said before, his associates his brand with other brands of a similar ilk – champagne brands, maybe high-end vodka brands, etc. As a result, they tend to go to the same events and offer tasters. They then ask for contact details if the prospective is interested in the product.
One thing Etyan mentions is that is can be a challenge to know where to place the product. But, when people try it, they are hooked!
Caviar is healthy!
Etyan makes such a case for buying caviar here!
The caviar market:
Surprisingly, there are a lot of competitors for such a small and selective market. However, Etank can distinguish to quality if he did a blind taste test. For most of his clients, most of them stick with Etyan’s business because of its taste. The maturity and the concentration of salt is perfect for their clients.
The challenge is quality assurance. However, Etyan assures us he is hitting the mark (hence the clients!).
When you hit your twenties, where do you see the business?
Etyan wants to see Caviar House expanding. So far, at the end of 2019, Etyan and his business have sold around 1.3 tons of caviar this year. His target is 2 tons for next year. Therefore, he is expanding their production facilities right now.
As a rough ball-park, Etyan wants to move his business from 1 million pounds to 5 million pounds in a short stretch of time. There will be scaling issues here.
Etyan says, by 2021, he wants the business to have the capacity for 5 tons. But, he anticipates this amount won’t be generated straight away. This growth will avoid the problem he had this year; a large demand for caviar, which Caviar House could not produce. Business was turned down.
As the brand becomes better known, leaders of the company can become more like celebrities. As a result, people will be more attracted to them.
Graham also suggests Etyan should write a book on caviar. Adam Witty talks about the importance of books in business. Click here to listen. The point is, having the book on caviar helps develop celebrity. This will assist growing the business in a way Etyan is aspiring to. Though Etyan doesn’t want to be a celebrity, he agrees writing a book is a good idea. The idea of a book is that it gives you authority.
Fun fact: the most expensive caviar has been sold at £100,000 per kilo.
This is because it comes from Iranian, albino sturgeon, called ‘gold caviar’. It has a goldfish gleam and the sturgeon is incredibly rare. That’s why it’s so expensive!
Caviar is a real, quality product. It’s new ground for Kevin and Graham on the podcast – what an interesting market! And, what an interesting young man, at only 19!
It shows that age does not matter; you can be 16, or you can be 60. It doesn’t matter when you’re starting a business. Find your niche and go for it.
If you’re interested in Etyan’s business, click here.