These Takeout Boxes are All the Graze

Graze Boxes

These Takeout Boxes Are All the Graze
Written by Dee Brun

The past two years have been all about the pivot; no longer just a dance move, but now a strategic business maneuver aimed at reinventing the status quo. It has been taking place on a global scale in the business world, however, nowhere is it more prevalent than in the food industry.

One tiny piece of this new ‘normal’ is the graze box trend. With one simple Google of the graze box, you are bombarded with “how to’s” “where to’s” and the “who’s whos” of this new industry. In a nutshell, a graze box is a charcuterie board in a box or any other portable vessel. However, there is nothing simple about the current world of charcuterie.

I remember my parents putting out ‘charcuterie’ at our holiday gatherings; a plate of dill and sweet pickles, marble cheese and some sort of liverwurst with all the stale crackers leftover from the last party. Skip ahead a few decades and now party planners and chefs alike are creating entire grazing tables filled with cured meat flower displays, cheeses and olives. The more exotic and colourful the ingredients, the better as the table is and has always been meant to be a feast for the eyes, mouth and all of your senses.

At Home Restaurant Experiences

Dating back to 2014, these grazing tables started gaining traction in Australia to replace the now pedestrian buffets. In 2018, they made their way overseas via the ever-talented Ashleigh Forbes, owner of Platter in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. They were a huge success and quickly gained momentum as the new way to gather, celebrate and share food with others but nothing great stays quiet for long.

In our instagramable society, this trend quickly made its way west and almost overnight became the new ‘must have’ at every wedding, event and special occasion.

Velvet Glove (Winnipeg, MB)

Insert a global pandemic, where the narrative is to share nothing, touch nothing or no one and refrain from gathering in public.

The pivot in this industry came swiftly. Almost overnight, my social feed, normally filled with salacious food and wine images, plates and platters being shared from the latest and greatest hot spots around town, turned into these almost elegant white boxes being open by influencers sitting on their couches in their sponsored PJs. These boxes revealed the most glorious of treats inside. “Just got my Graze Box” was in post after post and I must admit, they influenced me. I can now order the most divine cured meats, cheeses, pickles, crackers and so many other amazing mouth joys TO MY HOME.

At Home Restaurant Experiences

Not only did the restaurants and catering companies hop on this new trend. Since we all had to stay home, many out-of-work new entrepreneurs started making and selling boxes themselves, even offering wine and whiskey pairings to go with their creations. And as with every pivot and disruption in any industry, there is a trickle-down effect. Local delicatessens, fromageries and specialty shops saw an uptick in their sales to help create these boxes of joy.

Just head to any social platform and type in #grazebox and you will find the most glorious of accounts filled with images of this editable art. Like @honeygrazers in my hometown who put together the most unbelievable box for my foodie in training’s 13th birthday. Or check out @thegrazeanatomy (clever name) in Toronto, @thegrazecompany in Vancouver or @betterinboxescatering in Halifax. Just google ‘graze box near me’ and you are sure to find one in your grazing area.

Is this trend here to stay? I say yes.