By now, consumers are very familiar with charcuterie board trends and common accompaniments. It is not a surprise to see a variety of crackers, meats, dips and spreads cross-promoted in the cheese department.

When people get used to seeing something that is always there, sometimes they get to a point where they no longer notice it. They might see it and register it subconsciously, but their brain does not flag it as something that needs attention. So, in a world where charcuterie is everywhere, how can a retailer make sure its cross-merchandising isn’t missed?

Group charcuterie products by total cost

When consumers shop for premium cheeses, they might be planning to entertain a group or to treat themselves to a restaurant-quality meal at home. No matter the occasion, they probably have some sort of budget in mind when they enter the store.

Some shoppers may be trying to impress their guests with the best of everything. Others might be looking to splurge on a particular item and balance it by spending less on the rest of the ingredients they need. Some might be scanning for the most affordable options they can find across all categories.

Retailers can make budgeting easier for shoppers by cross-merchandising products that are grouped together by the total cost.

Start by dividing a charcuterie display into three sections, such as $25, $50 and $100. For each price range, create different combinations of products that would fit that total cost if purchased together. To make it even easier for the consumer, clearly state how many servings the different product groupings would create.

For example, in the $50 charcuterie section, have one group of all high-end products in smaller packages so that everything together would serve 2-3 people. Make another group that serves 5-7 people and displays one feature product with a higher price point, while the rest of the products are more affordable and keep the total at $50. Then offer a value group of products that serves the largest number of people possible for a total of $50.

Consumers will be grateful they don’t have to do so much mental math while shopping, and they also might end up buying products they would not normally consider on their own, just because they fit their budget and party size.

Some shoppers might even make a new hobby out of tasting premium products because they now feel empowered to do so within a price range that works for them.

Feature cheesy recipes that change weekly

What a lot of people love about delivery meal services is the wide range of recipes they get to try without having to do any of their own research or planning. These consumers look for convenience in a specific way — they still enjoy taking time to cook for themselves, but coming up with new ideas is what feels hard. They like the creativity and variety they get with a meal kit that changes every week and sends them everything they need.

Retailers can easily offer this same service in-store by creating cross-promotional displays for unique recipes that change each week.

Start by partnering with a chef or dietitian to develop recipes that fit a variety of diets, including kid-friendly options. For a unique approach, center the recipe around the type of cheese that is used. Feature your store’s plant-based cheeses with a vegan recipe. Create a French recipe that uses Camembert or a Mexican recipe that uses Cotija.

Display all the ingredients needed in proximity to the cheese, along with a recipe card for consumers to take home. For a more sustainable option, you can post the recipe on your store’s website each week and display a QR code with a link to the recipe.

If done consistently, this type of cross-merchandising can influence consumer behavior so much beyond a single shopping trip.

Weekly recipes can boost:

Customer loyalty

Consumers will get used to everything they need for their meal planning being at one store.

Shopping frequency

Consumers who normally buy in bulk and space out their shopping every few weeks might begin coming in more frequently to check out the new recipes. More time in-store can lead to more impulse purchases.

Word-of-mouth advertising

Consumers who cook the recipes for their friends and family are likely to share where they found it. Parents of kids who are picky eaters might share a recipe that worked out well for their family with other parents, or someone might share one of the plant-based cheese recipes with a friend who has lactose intolerance.

Three perks to emphasize to consumers:

  1. You don’t have to remember to pause or skip deliveries if you have a schedule change.
  2. Someone else does the planning, but you still get to pick out your own produce.
  3. It is easy to make substitutions. Add extra protein or swap out an ingredient you don’t like without wasting food.

Elevate olives

Olives are extremely popular accompaniments for charcuterie boards and are already often used for cross-merchandising in the cheese department. However, the average consumer might not be aware of the different varieties of olives and their unique flavors.

A little bit of olive trivia can boost your cross-merchandising efforts from “common charcuterie board ingredients” to “must-try recipes bursting with flavor.”

Health benefits

Olives are a fantastic source of vitamin E and iron. According to Olives From Spain, black olives can provide up to 45.5% of the recommended daily amount of iron and are a dietary antioxidant, protecting body tissue fats from oxidation.

European olives

According to Olives From Spain, Europe has been growing olives for almost 3,000 years, and in Spain, 10% of the land used for organic agriculture is dedicated to the growth of organic olives. The following three European olive varieties are the most popular in Spain.

The Gordal

“Deliciously plump, the Gordal is the obvious choice for unpretentious enjoyment,” Olives from Spain said. “Its delicate flavor and firm, crunchy texture make it popular with foodies looking for a snack or a great accompaniment to a cocktail.”

The Hojiblanca

“The more fibrous Hojiblanca, which means ‘white leaf,’ owes its name to the silvery reflection of the tree's leaves,” Olives From Spain said. “This one is your go-to when you get cooking. Its almondy aftertaste and hint of bitterness are accentuated during cooking and its typically firm flesh becomes tender. This olive is a remarkable addition to tasty dishes such as marinades and in desserts with white chocolate.”

The Manzanilla

“Nicknamed ‘little apple’ because of its round shape, this variety, which is one of the most popular, can rely on its natural charms,” Olives From Spain said. “Not at all bitter and with a pit that is easily removed, it is often found in marinades or stuffed, for the greatest pleasure of all. Pick from a huge number of delicious fillings like anchovies, garlic, peppers, cheese and more! Superb eaten on its own, it can also be cooked to enhance the taste of a dish, like a delicious plate of pasta.”