Escal, the Strasbourg, France-based specialist supplier of frozen fishery products, was in high profile at the May 7-9 Seafood Expo Global in Brussels with a large line of retail offerings ranging from seafood cocktail and prawn packs to premium fish fillets and festive items.
Front and center was the company’s newly launched Calamar Romana, which was a finalist in the Seafood Excellence Global awards competition. Distributed in 400g bags, the squid rings are enrobed in gluten-free batter made of pea flakes, rice flour and corn flour.
Also spotlighted at the show were recently debuted ASC-certified King Size White Tiger Prawns from Ecuador (Crevettes D’Equateur) in 250g packs, and peeled and cooked Cocktail Prawns in 330g bags.
Escal’s Seafood Cocktail, marketed as Frutti di Mare across Europe, boasts a mélange of shrimp, mussels, squid, octopus and cuttlefish that can be creatively utilized in many pasta presentations, as well as in risotto or paella dishes.
Despite a generally decreasing market for prawns in France, Escal enjoyed increased sales for the shellfish in 2018. In fact, peeled and cooked prawns rank among best sellers for Escal. Especially popular are farm-raised species sourced from Ecuador under the Sustainable Shrimps Partnership (SSP) program which guarantees zero use of antibiotics and additives.
Premium Fish Fillets
Launched during the second half of 2018, Escal’s line of fish fillets is already found in the frozen food aisles of many supermarkets. Counting five references (cod, haddock, saithe, salmon and albacore tuna), the entire vacuum-packed range is 100% certified as sustainable under Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) criteria.
Escal’s assortment of festive products to indulge in over the holidays and during other special occasions includes scallops and the lobster. The scallops are frozen quickly after being harvested from MSC-certified fisheries to ensure freshness and undiminished natural flavor. Presented raw and without roe, they can be adapted to all recipes.
Escal lobster also comes from sustainable, MSC-certified fishing grounds. The pre-cooked product is easy to make ready for serving after defrosting.
The company’s organic range, which debuted in 2010, is getting a new packaging look in 2019. Prawns in the bio line are sourced from Ecuador, while the salmon comes from Ireland or Norway, and the mussels are harvested exclusively in Chilean waters.
While France is Escal’s top market, the brand is also highly regarded by consumers in Germany. Furthermore, it is steadily gaining in popularity in Austria, Belgium and other European countries. The well-established company, which was founded more than 40 years ago, rang of sales of approximately €143 million in 2018.