Spanish chorizo producers have deepened their connection with British consumers through a range of promotional activity at a time when sales are showing strong long-term growth.
Consorcio del Chorizo Español – which is a consortium of Spanish chorizo suppliers and guarantees the quality of the product – organised a trip for leading food bloggers from the UK, France and Germany to visit the town of Besalú in Catalonia in November. The influencers, who included Shree Mitra (Truffleandtoast) and Adam Shaw (At Dad’s Table), were shown how Spanish chorizo is made and given the opportunity to taste and pair it, as well as tour production facilities.
The influencers were made #ChorizoAmbassadors and created content on their various social media pages during and after the trip, highlighting the products and inspiring their followers to cook with Spanish chorizo at home.
“The trip was valuable for raising awareness,” explained Consortium director Alejandro Alvarez-Canal Estrada. “During the trip we received blogger requests to be part of future #ChorizoAmbassadors activities, and at the same time it helped us to understand how Spanish chorizo is consumed in the UK, France and Germany. We are confident that with the scope and range of audience that each of the participants has, the messages can reach a greater number of potential consumers in their home countries.”
Also boosting awareness in autumn was a #ChorizoAcademy, which took the form of an online resource featuring a range of authentic Spanish recipes and cooking videos. The aim of the academy was both to establish links with cooking schools and inspire the chefs of the future, as well as providing content directly to the end consumer.
Further promotional activity this year has included consumer press advertising, web banners, newsletters, trade press releases and retailer activity in the shape of digital banners on Waitrose and Ocado’s websites linked to searches for relevant Spanish foods.
Despite the twin challenges of rising production costs and consumers tightening their belts, some 1.7 million kgs of Consortium-branded Spanish chorizo has been sold in the UK this year, representing around 56% of total production. There has been a slight increase in value sales, reflecting the food standards sought by UK consumers and their growing recognition of the quality and tradition associated with the Consortium’s seal.
Notably, sales of Consortium-labelled chorizo are 40% higher than pre-pandemic levels in a sign that the product is on a long-term upward trajectory.
“We are happy with the promotional work carried out in the British market, especially regarding contact with retailers, who we want to continue working with on promotions in 2023, and bloggers,” said Alvarez-Canal Estrada. The Consortium will be present at the IFE London fair under the Spanish pavilion organisation by FIAB, the Spanish Food and Drink Industry Federation, he added, and hopes to develop joint promotional initiatives with other Spanish meat sector organisations.