Posted: 04/05/2017

Currency shift a boon for British charcuterie

Stocking British charcuterie should be a more viable prospect for fine food retailers as the price differential with comparable Continental products has narrowed significantly.

The currency impact of last June’s Brexit vote has reduced what was about a 50% premium for British charcuterie to an estimated 10-15%.

Capreolus Fine Foods owner David Richards said this, coupled with the growing consumer appetite for provenance, made British charcuterie a much easier sell and artisan producers were “keen on using British meat of very high standards of husbandry and quality”.

He told FFD: “We’ve always accepted the fact we have a higher cost base than those that use industrial techniques, both mechanical and chemical, to increase levels and speed of production.”

Richards said that consumers were not just purchasing on price and were also beginning to accept spending more for better quality.

He added that the circumstances also provided a platform for British producers to develop more products.

British Charcuterie
Thanks to Brexit’s effect on currency, British charcuterie is now only 10-15% dearer than Continental products

Distributor Harvey & Brockless said its British charcuterie had been growing at 75% year-on-year, outstripping Continental by three to one.

Graham Stoodley, category manager, said the growth of British did not necessarily mean it was at Continental’s expense. “It’s an expanding market. The demand for grazing and sharing is growing and growing.”

British charcuterie specialist Cannon & Cannon, which opened Nape, a charcuterie bar and deli in Camberwell in February, has also seen increasing demand.

“Our charcuterie sales were up more than 50% in sales value in March, year on year. We see that continuing,” said director Jamie Wallace, adding that British producers’ willingness to experiment meant they were more innovative than Continental companies.

Peter Themans, owner of Wenlock Edge Farm which has two farm shops, in East Wall, and Shrewsbury, Shropshire, said Brexit was a big opportunity to sell more British charcuterie, which was competing with cheap product from Holland and Germany – “pink stuff you perhaps find in a cheap Continental breakfast in a hotel”.

Themans said those who sold British salami for “three times our price” were doing the industry a disservice. “There’s no need for a piece of salami to be sold for £60 a kilo. It’s a ridiculous price. We still make a margin.”

Having abandoned plans to expand his British range beyond Cornish Charcuterie, Edward Pearce of Pearce’s Farmshop & Café said the narrowing price gap might convince him to revisit his offer.

“There are less people doing it than those abroad but the ones that are are turning out first class product,” he said. “I think Brexit will helps us sell more British gear.”

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