Quality Spanish chorizo has never been easier to find and enjoy across international borders – with exports of this traditional product poised to break even more records in 2019.
Despite its centuries-old history and unwavering importance in traditional Spanish cuisine, one might easily assert that Spanish chorizo is currently experiencing its heyday. The reason for this has to do with the continuing uptick in the popularity of this oh-so-Spanish-product on a global level.
As far away as Boulder, Colorado, people enjoyed a plate of Spanish chorizo on their table this past Christmas. I know this for a fact because I was one of them, and while my own addiction to this delicious and traditional, cured Spanish sausage is by no means representative of the industry as a whole, it can be interpreted as one small example of how Spanish chorizo is circling the globe in increasingly large amounts.
To put this claim into statistical context, according to data from the Spanish chorizo consortium, Consorcio del Chorizo Español (CChE), global sales of Spanish chorizo bearing the seal of the CChE doubled between 2016 and 2017, reaching more than 1.67 million kilograms of chorizo exports in 2017. These international sales then increased by another 55% in the first trimester of 2018 – numbers that corresponded to CChE labels being granted to more than a half million kilograms of chorizo – leading to final estimates of a production of 2.1 million kilograms of consortium-guaranteed Spanish chorizo for 2018.
Founded just a couple of years ago, the Consorcio del Chorizo Español (CChE) is a voluntary association comprised of Spanish companies from the meat industry, banded together for the purpose of protecting the interest of producers and consumers of Spanish chorizo, as well as to promote its sale and export. The quality seal granted to member-products is a symbol of the quality, tradition, authenticity and origins of this Spanish products, while also providing an all-important guarantee to fans of this classic Spanish sausage around the globe. No matter where they are in the world, customers of these products can rest assured that CChE member-companies follow strict regulations having to do with traceability, the origin of all raw ingredients, and all manufacturing processes.
Today, Consorcio del Chorizo Español chorizo is available in more than fifty countries (a number that has nearly doubled in just one year), although the top ten destinations for its products in 2017 were France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Chile and Poland – the first five of which accounted for 73% of the CChE’s total global export volume.
Part of this international success can be attributed to the promotional support that the Consortium has received for the fourth consecutive year from ICEX, Trade and Investment and Foods & Wines from Spain, with regard to the organization’s Plan for Internationalization. To this end, ICEX has turned to the CChE to represent its product in international markets, including during important international gourmet and culinary events, and with its primary focus on exports to France, Mexico and the United Kingdom in 2018.
The results of these efforts are not only clear in terms of sales and export statistics – which seem to be breaking previous international sales records every time that they’re reported – but also, on a local level, in how much easier it is getting for far-flung Spanish chorizo lovers like myself to put these quality products on their dinner tables.
Of course, it should be pointed out that, in 2017, CChE-certified chorizo represented only 5% of the total amount of exported Spanish chorizo, but, despite this small market share, the continuing growth of this quality-guaranteed product (often by leaps and bounds) can in many respects be considered representative of not only the growing popularity of Spanish chorizo in international markets on the whole, but also the increasing emphasis on quality among producers and consumers alike – and that is something to be thankful for.
Text: Adrienne Smith.