New UK sales high for Spanish chorizo

A record volume of Spanish chorizo has been shipped to the UK, underlying the growing popularity of the premium meat. Despite the transport crisis holding up food deliveries in early autumn, distribution of Spanish chorizos bounced back to hit a record 309,000 kg in December 2021, some 27% higher than the year before. A total of 2.1m kg was sold in the UK in 2021, representing 60% of total exports, according to the Consorcio del Chorizo Español (Spanish Chorizo Consortium).

Quality-assured chorizo supplied by the Consortium currently holds a 20% share of the Spanish cured meats market in the UK, but there are long-term plans to build on this season’s record export figures. That is being powered by more than €12m of recent investment by member companies in projects to enlarge production facilities and purchase new equipment.

“The UK continues to be the main market for the Consortium, and having built on the strong sales figures we saw in 2020 last year, the goal is to continue that trend going forward,” said Consortium director Alejandro Álvarez-Canal. “To do that we need to win over the experienced British consumer base, which is why we are focusing our promotional activities on the end user.”

Promotional plans include both online and offline activity explaining the unique characteristics of Spanish chorizo, which include featuring both garlic and paprika and being cured in dryers or smoked to give the product its unique, premium flavour. Alongside the main campaign, designed and executed in collaboration with the Spanish Commercial Office in the UK, the Consortium is carrying out a range of online activities with food bloggers and influencers.

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These include organising a trip with British, French and German food bloggers to explain the particular benefits of Spanish chorizo and how it fits into the wider Spanish culinary scene. A #ChorizoAcademy has also been created as a series of videos (in English) showcasing how to cook traditional Spanish recipes featuring the product. These will be directed at international culinary schools in the autumn, with a particular focus on the UK.

The Consortium will also promote the #ChorizoAcademy through cooking demonstrations at the Alimentaria Trade Fair, Barcelona on the 5 th April.

With the warmer months approaching, consumers will additionally be reminded that chorizo works in a range of meals all year round. “Chorizo has great versatility because it fits in with so many occasions and meal types,” added Álvarez-Canal. “During the spring months, for example, one of the most popular ways to use fresh chorizo is on the barbecue.”

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