UK sales of authentic Spanish chorizo have soared over the past year.
The Consorcio del Chorizo Español saw 1.69 million kilos of its labelled Spanish chorizo exported to the UK, an increase of 28% on the same period last year.
The consortium – a group of Spanish producers who make the meat according to established ingredients and production methods – achieved a 21.8% market share in the British market between January to October 2023.
The UK is the main destination of consortium-labelled Spanish chorizo, with approximately 2.2 million kilos exported annually, representing around 60% of its total output.
This rise in interest from UK consumers comes on the back of a wide-ranging campaign highlighting the taste, quality and health credentials of the product.
The campaign saw the creation of a series of specialised content and promotional campaigns in Tesco and Waitrose including tear-off shelf talkers with recipes and information about Spanish chorizo and the Consortium’s quality label and giveaways.
The consortium said it had been working hard to boost its trade buyer and consumer understanding of what differentiates labelled product from generic. Labelled product must include garlic and paprika, be cured outdoors or smoked, and have a marinated minced pork base.
Despite the positive performance of the consortium, however, its director Alejandro Alvarez-Canal Estrada highlighted how difficult trading had been over the past two years, with 2022 in particular described as a tough year due to a host of global factors such as inflation, rising raw material prices and energy costs.
“There are also specific issues in the UK stemming from Brexit, like uncertainty around the continuous postponement of implementing customs and health controls for animal-origin products,” he said.
“All of this unfolds within an increasingly complex and uncertain international economic and political context,” said Alvarez-Canal Estrada. “For 2024 therefore, our minimum aspiration is to achieve the same labelling figures as 2023.”