Sweet items like chocolate-dipped strawberries are increasingly showing up on charcuterie boards, as in this example from Fiorucci Foods.
Next on Board
Upcoming trends in the charcuterie space promise to be just as exciting as what’s already happening.
Gelson’s De Caro identifies the following ingredients as contenders: “Fermented foods and crunchy elements like unique flavored chips, pork rinds and caramel popcorn, because they add that crunch, savory or spicy factor that elevates the flavors of the board.”
Meanwhile, Rovagnati USA’s Tedeschi cites unusual food combinations and new usage occasions: “We are starting to see more exotic and out-of-the-ordinary ingredients, … such as tropical fruits, dried fruit and jam, paired with traditional ingredients such as cheese and fine cold cuts. Also, new consuming occasions are trending on Pinterest, such as ‘birthday’ charcuterie boards, replacing birthday cakes [at] celebrations.”
Looking to the second half of the year, Schuman predicts: “With spring/summer on the horizon, we expect to see in-season fruit like apricots, peaches, strawberries, etc., that we typically don’t see on winter boards making a comeback to add those bright colors and new textures. We also anticipate these fruity flavors to show up within the cheeses themselves during this timeframe.”
She goes on to note the continued rise of sweet additions: “We have also seen people getting more and more adventurous with adding non-cheese and -meat inclusions onto their cheese boards. We have seen people play around with putting our Delve Mascarpone Truffles on cheese boards as a fun pop of mascarpone and chocolate, for an unexpected sweet indulgence.”
“I think it is great fun to add chocolate to a board,” enthuses FrieslandCampina’s Seife. “Chocolate-covered espresso beans, chocolate-dipped strawberries and stroop waffles are all crowd pleasers and not expected.”
Fiorucci Foods’ Munk is perhaps the most granular when it comes to the types of ingredients that consumers will want to place on their charcuterie boards: “According to recent consumer research we’ve conducted with help from Datassential, some fast-growing sweet options include pomegranates, passion and dragon fruits, pineapple, and tangerines. Some salty and savory ingredients are hot honey sauce, dulce de leche spreads, macadamia and pecan nuts, mangos, and Gouda and Romano cheeses.
[F]inally, some unique dessert offerings are becoming more prevalent, like gingerbreads, truffle chocolates, churros, toffee crisps and mini birthday cakes, because why not? Really, the list of emerging and groundbreaking ingredients … is endless, and we believe that’s because consumers are open to experimenting more with exotic flavors and letting their tastebuds take them on a [journey] to world cuisine from the comfort of their homes.”