Supermarket Perimeter - May 2020 - 39

This certainly applies to charcuterie. And it's especially true of those
visiting Italy, France and Spain, given the variety of charcuterie in
these countries. Upon their return, these individuals want to relive the
experience as well as share it with their family, friends and colleagues
And it's not just international travel. Individuals from certain regions
of the United States visiting cities such as New York, San Francisco and
Chicago may find charcuterie varieties not available in their hometown
or surrounding area.
As we all know, consumer demand drives variety. Listen to your
shoppers. Get a sense of the types of meat varieties they're searching
for. Doing so will help create a growing and loyal group of charcuterie
customers, as well to expand your offerings.

Consumer engagement is a must

NATALLIA , ANNA_KLYASHEVA - STOCK.ADOBE.COM

The importance of knowledgeable store associates
Consumers have questions about food they're unfamiliar with. And
if they don't receive the answers they're looking for, they'll either not
make a purchase or shop another store where associates can answer
their question.
Therefore, knowledgeable employees play such a critical role in the
success of a store's charcuterie program.
Charcuterie is a new concept for many shoppers. Cured meats
with names like sopressata and saucisson sec may be unfamiliar and
intimidating to consumers unfamiliar with them. This very likely could
lead to hesitation about tasting and purchasing them. A knowledgeable
associate can help bridge the gap between consumer reluctancy and
enjoyment of charcuterie.
As stated above, sampling is the most effective way of engaging
shoppers. But some individuals may want to learn about what they're
trying, before biting into it. Telling the story behind the meat-its origin,
flavor, texture, what it pairs well with-is essential to developing and

expanding a charcuterie program in your instore deli. The associate
providing the charcuterie sample to the consumer should also be able
to provide details about it, as well as answer questions.
This is where associate education comes into play. Knowledgeable
staff is the key in driving shopper engagement in a store's charcuterie
program. On-going training should be a component of any charcuterie
program, whether newly launched or existing.
Additionally, many distributors and vendors are willing to go the
extra mile to talk to staff about their products, and many have helpful
resources to address both storytelling and ingredient concerns.
A commitment to education can go a long way in delivering a
successful charcuterie program that entices and connects with
shoppers, as well as drive sales.
To learn more about IDDBA's new charcuterie certification program
and other training tools for store associate's, visit www.iddba.org.
Eric Richard is industry relations coordinator for the Madison,
Wis.-based International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA).

supermarketperimeter.com

SP_May20.indb 39

FOTONAT67 - STOCK.ADOBE.COM

The "experience" that charcuterie brings to a store also can bring
consumer questions. Regionality can play a role in how educated
consumers are on cured meats.
For example, shoppers in the Northeast, Chicago, and West Coast
cities might be more familiar with certain types of cured meats (and
cheeses, for that matter) as they grew up eating them and seeing
them sold in local businesses. Consumers in other regions may
not be as familiar with them, which is why sampling is the first step
in enlightening them. Don't just offer the product, encourage the
consumer to taste it.
In many ways, the state of charcuterie today is very similar to the
growth the specialty cheese market was 10 or 15 years ago. At first,
many consumers probably felt overwhelmed and unknowledgeable
by the sheer variety of cheeses becoming available at retail. Now, this
category is very approachable. Engagement and education played
major roles in accomplishing this.
Instore pairing classes and dinners are another way to engage
consumers on charcuterie. If your store or chain already has on-site
cooking classes or chef-inspired dinners, consider adding a charcuterie
angle to some of these sessions or, perhaps even more effective,
develop charcuterie-specific classes, complete with large charcuterie
boards and an itinerary of pairing combinations.

MAY 2020 - 39

5/5/2020 4:10:23 PM


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Supermarket Perimeter - May 2020

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