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Destination: Get ‘On Board’ with the Charcuterie Trend


Progressive Grocer

“Charcuterie.”The word may not exactly roll off the tongue, but your customers have developed a sharp taste for it — and they’re only getting hungrier.

What is it?

The French word, pronounced “shar-koo-tuh-ree,” describes a wide range of meat products, many of which are cured, and it’s a category that is fast growing in the United States. From grocery store shelves to restaurant menus to social media, charcuterie is having a renaissance as the kind of authentic, experiential meal that today’s consumers are yearning for.

Five years ago, a consumer heading to the grocery store for cold cuts or a party platter might stop by the deli for some sliced Swiss cheese and Virginia ham. Today, that consumer might be looking for organic fig spread, Provencal olives and Columbus Craft Meats’ Calabrese salami made from whole cuts of hand-trimmed pork and slow aged at least 21 days.

Charcuterie and the deliciously gorgeous boards used to serve it have become so popular that Instagram influencers are quitting their jobs to design colorful charcuterie boards full-time.

Behind much of this renaissance of charcuterie is a century-old company in California that helped put craft meats and charcuterie on the map in the U.S. all those years ago, and continues to delight consumers to this day. Columbus Craft Meats, founded by Italian immigrants Peter Domenici and Enrico Parducci in San Francisco in 1917, offers an array of premium craft products that can transform any retailer’s deli into exactly the kind of charcuterie destination that today’s shoppers are seeking

“Almost every new American restaurant is putting charcuterie on menus because of the artisanal qualities, the vibrant amount of colors and items you can put onto a board. All of that is captivating to today’s consumer,” said Evan Inada, “Master Charcutier” and Customer Marketing Manager at Columbus Craft Meats. “Charcuterie is a great way to draw more customers into the deli.”

According to the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association’s “What’s in Store 2019” report, “The deli department shines as a true growth engine for the store.” And the growth engine for all of that deli department growth going forward might well come from premium products such as charcuterie.