Caviar may be celebrated as one of the world’s great luxury products, prized by those with fancy tastes and deep pockets.
But these days, it’s increasingly finding its way into the mainstream.
Consider the latest offering from Pringles, the popular potato-chip brand that’s part of the Kellogg Company
family. It’s a “Crisps and Caviar Collection” created in partnership with The Caviar Co., a San Francisco-based purveyor.
Inspired by a now-viral “Real Housewives of New York” season 14 moment turned TikTok trend that has seen people pairing Pringles and caviar, the collection features packages, priced from $49 to $140, that include (what else?) different varieties of the namesake chips and different varieties of the fish roe (or, eggs).
Mauricio Jenkins, the U.S. marketing lead for Pringles, said in a statement that “the nation is craving Pringles and caviar — and in true Pringles fashion, we’re satisfying the caviar curious.”
But this is just the latest example of how caviar, which can sell for hundreds of dollars per ounce for some of the rarest varieties, has become more a part of everyday cuisine.
Last year, the big thing was something called “caviar bumps” — that is, caviar consumed straight from the back of one’s hand. The idea was clearly to remove the whole serving-ritual mystique of caviar, as in having all the accompaniments and those pricey mother-of-pearl spoons.
Some said it is actually the ideal way to enjoy caviar — or as one fan told The New York Times: “If you put caviar on blinis or chips or put chives or red onion on it, it masks the flavor. Why are you eating something that costs $200 an ounce just for it to taste like red onion?”
But what may really be driving the interest in caviar, says Edward Panchernikov, marketing officer for Caviar Russe, a prominent specialty wholesaler and retailer, is the fact that prices are generally coming down — due in large part to the availability of cheaper farm-raised caviar from China.
And while Panchernikov doesn’t sell the Chinese version — he prefers the quality of the caviar he sources from a producer in Germany — he does offer caviar for as little as $65 per ounce.
Panchernikov told MarketWatch that even when it is priced lower, caviar maintains its mystique — and therefore its appeal.
“Caviar has always been synonymous with wealth and prestige,” he said.
But does that extend to the pairing of caviar and Pringles? That may speak more to the idea of what’s been called high-low snacking — meaning combining something expensive and something affordable for an unexpected treat.
Or as Petra Higby, chief executive officer of The Caviar Co., said in a statement: “Pringles and caviar are the high-low snack the world didn’t know we needed, but the combination is simply delightful.”