It seems these days that specialty food concepts are converging to create a category all its own—a charcuterie category, if you will. From cheesemakers to confectionaries, companies of all kinds are laying claim to the concept of a cheese board. An easy way to open up this space is by partnering with other like-minded companies, which is exactly what Firehook Crackers is doing. The innovative baker has partnered with the esteemed cheesemaker Cypress Grove and Chicago-based grocer Mariano’s to participate in the cheesemaker's Cheese Boards For Dinner program.
“Cheese Boards For Dinner is an ongoing pop-up series including active demos, in-store displays, and educational marketing,” said Kari Ball, Marketing Manager at Firehook. “We teamed up with Cypress Grove and Mariano’s to promote and educate customers on the best way to build the perfect cheeseboard, focusing around items found in the deli.”
The program was created to educate eaters on the idea that a fresh and balanced meal can easily be found in the deli section of neighborhood markets. With a few cheeses, charcuterie, deli-made provisions, fresh produce, and crackers, a simple and delicious dinner instantly manifests. This also creates diverse retail opportunities by way of unexpected cross-merchandising tactics. According to Kari, though, one of Firehook’s most tried and true marketing strategies is advertising via influencer partnerships.
“Through organic relationships, we have built partnerships with influencers who have helped bring our crackers to life! These individuals are so talented when it comes to the art of cheeseboard making, incorporating fresh ingredients, highlighting the makers, and educating people on how to build the perfect cheese board,” Kari continued. “Our community is so vast and includes people from many different backgrounds including bloggers, journalists, cheesemongers, caterers, chefs, home cooks, enthusiasts, etc. It is great to see our community encouraging others to come together around great food and enjoy each other's company. We love that Firehook can be at the center of that table.”
On a final note, Kari reiterated the success of influencer campaigns by enlightening me with Marissa Mullen’s account @thatcheeseplate. Her success in bringing this knowledge to viewers has led to its own brand, dubbed That Cheese Plate, a highly sought-after workshop series and a soon-to-launch book. Firehook hopes to continue to partner with those makers and shakers who also believe in sharing the knowledge of cheese board building in fun and accessible ways.
Stay tuned to Deli Market News for more cheese board innovations popping up across the industry.