The Greek company Ikonomoudi, a family business with a history dating back to 1936, is devoted to the production and export of rock samphire. This herb is gaining popularity when making fish dishes and its health benefits in countries like Dubai and the UK.
“In Dubai, it has been called `the next superfood´ and the demand is increasing every year.” She explains that the herb is grown both in greenhouses and in the open ground, which ensures its availability all year round. “Greek consumers appreciate it not only for its properties, but also for its salty taste and crispiness, which they like in combination with the Greek drink Ouzo. It is also popular as an ingredient for salads in combination with fish or in omelettes,” according to Ms. Noni, Sales Representative of Ikonomoudi.
While prices remain stable, Ms Noni says that “Sales are better every year, as more consumers are learning about the product. In Greece, it is distributed to retailers and supermarkets, and for the export market we deal with importers directly. The pickled version is intended for export, but countries like Germany, Italy or Bulgaria also buy it fresh.”
In the domestic market, it remains extremely popular in restaurants and hospitality, which account for around 60% of the total sales, but it is also bound for further expansion overseas. Ikonomoudi plans to launch it in France and the Netherlands next October. China has also shown its interest in purchasing a test pallet. Their rock samphire is available not only fresh, but also pickled.
Author: Juan Zea Estellés / Yzza Ibrahim