Charcuterie trends are showing that consumers are increasingly pushing the envelope to reclassify what goes on boards and when to enjoy them. For the overwhelmed shoppers, however, the variety in options can be daunting, leaving one to wonder where to start. Hormel Foods’ Columbus brand is not only elevating the components, but providing the cheeseboard to spring off of, and the crackers and salami, of course.
“Our Columbus® Charcuterie Tasting Board is really teaching with food first. It creates a one-stop shop solution where consumers can enjoy the experience and educate themselves on all the elements that are needed on a board,” Evan Inada, Charcuterie Director for Columbus Craft Meats, illustrates. “I think one of the things Columbus does best is making the restaurant experience more accessible. All shoppers have to do is open the box and put it on a board at home.”
As Andrew Quinn tells me, Hormel Foods saw a huge surge in entertaining opportunities take place as consumers tried to either enjoy a night home or make up for lost moments over the past few years.
“We want to be able to provide easy solutions for shoppers to enjoy our products with family and friends,” Andrew, Director of Marketing for Hormel Deli Solutions Group, offers. “You see menus featuring charcuterie tasting solutions, and that’s something we want to recreate.”
Innovation is brought to the forefront as Hormel Foods hones in on the different elements that play their parts on the charcuterie board. By putting products together in one convenient package, Columbus guarantees visibility along with education for the shopper to craft their own creations.
“While inflation continues to impact how far one can stretch the dollar, we still believe that entertaining occasions are going to be a focal point for consumers, especially millennials and Gen Z,” Andrew says. “In addition to our Columbus brand, we also have the HORMEL® Gatherings brand that does a great job for more of your mainstream gatherings.”
Evan picks up the thought by adding, “We’re focusing heavily on creating charcuterie destinations to help educate our shoppers around how to create boards and platters—a location in their local store where they can find everything they’re looking for. Down to the packaging and the products themselves, we’re trying to create that experience for our shoppers to feel comfortable enough to build their own masterpieces around.”
To truly drive the knowledge home, the company aims to educate not only the shopper but the retailer and marketplace as well. By knowing how to make boards, retailers can create that charcuterie destination consumers look for when they’re planning their Super Bowl party, life celebrations, or holiday feasts. This education and wisdom for all things charcuterie comes in part from experienced salumierans themselves. The company’s deli team includes five certified salumierans that passed charcuterie certification tests given by International Dairy Deli Bakery Association.
Not only is Hormel Foods making it accessible to enjoy life through food, the company is also nourishing its own employees through community opportunities.
“Earlier this year, we launched an aggressive set of ESG goals called the 20 by 30 challenge. We are determined to accomplish these 20 sustainability goals by 2030,” comments Rick Williamson, Manager of Corporate Communications. “Over the past five years, we have donated more than $50 million in addition to launching our Inspired Pathways program in August 2020 for our team members and their families. We pay for a two-year community college education for the children of our team members. That’s the kind of company we want to be.”
Elevating both taste and lives in more ways than one, I believe Hormel Foods will continue to reach new frontiers to explore. Keep reading Deli Market News to stay apprised of our industry’s latest.