Joseph Ennen, the recently appointed Chief Executive Officer of Columbus Foods, joined DeliMarket News for a brief interview to discuss his plans for the future of the company, some of the current trends he’s seeing in the deli category, as well as new products on the horizon.
Listen to our 1:52 minute interview above, or keep reading to get a glimpse of what we discussed.
When asked about his vision for the brand, Joe tells us that he wants to do what the craft beer business has done for the beer industry but for the meat category. With a focus on bringing old world techniques back to the category and celebrating the right ingredients with clean, simple flavor profiles, Joe hopes that his team can capitalize on some of the growing trends he’s currently seeing in the industry today.
“Consumers are extraordinarily interested in clean meats – specifically, antibiotic free, hormone free, grass-fed – and we are moving incredibly aggressive in that direction with all of our products,” Joe tells us. “I think you’re going to see a transformation within the category as more and more people begin to embrace what the consumer is looking for. I expect that the category will continue to grow this year just as it has for the last several years.”
Columbus Foods’ traditional San Francisco Italian Dry Salami is continuing to grow, but artisanal types of salami such as finnochiona, Sopressata, and many others, are growing even faster.
According to Nielsen, Italian Deli products are the fastest growing segment of Deli meat. In 2014, dollar sales of the Italian Deli sub-category grew 9 percent. Through September 2015, the category accelerated to 12 percent growth (the total Deli Meat category grew 7 percent during the same period).
As for what’s next, Joe tells us that the company is introducing pre-sliced artisan meats, as well as a charcuterie tray with four different varieties of salami, which will be available this month.
For more on Columbus Foods’ growth and evolution, stay tuned to DeliMarket News.