From 15th century French origins to social media phenomenon – charcuterie has made an impressive and visually pleasing comeback. Charcuterie boards traditionally feature a curated selection of cured meats and cheeses alongside noshes like crackers, berries, nuts and jams. While the fascination with charcuterie may seem like a random occurrence, it makes sense as a foodie trend. Consumers young and old are sharing their every meal on social media and little is more visually appetizing than an aesthetically arranged charcuterie board.
Consumers have excitedly adopted charcuterie, and more than a quarter are creating boards at home at least once per month.1 At retail, charcuterie* has seen constant growth since 2017. In fact, all categories of charcuterie, except the deli counter where a store employee slices meat to order, have outperformed total edible (total store minus non-edibles like kitchen gadgets and toilet paper) and total meat for the last four years.2 As with the rest of the store, COVID-19 positively affected charcuterie sales. Pre-packed charcuterie spiked at around an 80% volume increase in Q2 2020 compared to the previous year. Even once the early pandemic panic buying wore off, pre-packed charcuterie volume remained about 40% up over 2019.3
“The pandemic favorably impacted pre-packed and packaged charcuterie due to requiring less contact or interaction,” explained Erkin Peksoz, IRI consultant. “The opposite is true for service counter charcuterie, which requires more contact or interaction. We also saw higher volatility in packaged charcuterie sales during the pandemic, likely brought on by supply shortages and panic buying.”