Eel is one of the most important commercial fish species, as its consumption is increasing significantly owing to its distinctive flavor and high content of nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids. Eel is majorly consumed in Europe, the U.S., Japan, Korea, China, and New Zealand. According to the data provided by Eurofish International Organization, world production of eel has grown from 4.9 thousand tons in 2012 to 6 thousand tons in 2015, with European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark being the largest contributors in the global eel production.
There are two types of smoked eel products available in the global market, which include hot-smoked and cold-smoked products. Hot-smoking of fish involves smoking and cooking at the same time by exposing it to both, smoke and heat in a controlled environment. The hot-smoked products are cooked at around 85°C for a short time (approximately 2-3 hours) to maintain the flavor and the moisture in the product. The high temperature of cooking ensures that the end product is free from microbes and safe to eat.
Cold smoking is a method of preserving fish. The process of cold smoking, is done at the ambient cooking temperature, at around 30°C for a longer period of time, between 6-12 hours. However, strict sanitation and safety measures are required, in order to ensure that the end product is pathogen free and safe to eat.
Steadily rising awareness regarding high nutrient content of eel is fuelling growth of the market. The cooked eel fish has high protein, lipid fat, calories, and moisture content. It has high content of vitamin A, B12, isoleucine, lysine, tryptophan, threonine, and minerals such as phosphorus, zinc, iron, potassium, manganese, magnesium, thiamin, riboflavin, and selenium. Consumption of fish is associated with various health benefits as it decreases cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of developing arthritis, and promotes good eyesight and nervous system functioning. Therefore, the consumption of eel is increasing due to these factors, thus aiding in growth of the market.
Salt and smoke provides texture and flavor to eel, which is a major factor for increasing consumption of smoked products. Furthermore, various developments in the packaging industry such as vacuum packaging with high barrier films have aided in increasing shelf life of the product. Therefore, increasing developments in the packaging industry is anticipated to fuel the market growth for smoked eel. Moreover, increasing aquaculture industry and rising consumption of seafood are further fuelling growth of the smoked eel market. For instance, according to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO) survey, in 2016, the global per capita seafood consumption increased to 20 kg per person per year.
Major players operating in the global smoked eel market include Royal Danish Fish A/S, Seagull NV, Dutch Eel Company, Lambton & Jackson Ltd., S & J Fisheries Ltd., Foppen, Dilvis B.V., Seamor International Ltd., Coromandel Smoking Co., Eden Smokehouse, Smiths Smokery, and Rybhand Co.
Based on the product type, smoked eel market is segmented into:
Based on the distribution channel, smoked eel market is segmented into:
Based on the region, smoked eel market is segmented into:
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