Daily Archives: April 28, 2015

  • US olive oil wholesaler has switched the sourcing of the EVOO from Italy to Greece

     

    Costco Wholesale has switched from Italy to Greece as the source of the extra-virgin olive oil for its Kirkland Signature 2-liter bottle, in what could be a big break for the economically battered cradle of Western Civilization and its relatively unheralded olive-oil industry.

    The move comes amid an apocalyptic season for Italy’s olive groves. A hot spring, a rainy summer and a pesky olive-eating fly conspired to create what Italian daily La Repubblica called “the black year of Italian olive oil.”

    Production in Italy is expected to drop 34 percent this year, according to the International Olive Oil Council.
    Prices have gone up accordingly: Italian extra-virgin olive oil in March was sold by producers for about $2.97 a pound, 84 percent more than a year earlier, according to the council.

    That price hike must have been tough to swallow for Costco, a company that’s always looking for a good deal.

    Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said the availability of the extra-virgin olive oil Costco usually purchases is down to one-tenth of the normal level.

    “We wanted to get a single source of good quality; for this year we went to Greece,” he said.

    While Spain, the world’s foremost olive-oil producer, also suffered from some of the same weather events that befell Italy, Greece has been largely spared. Its production is expected to more than double this year, and prices for extra-virgin olive oil are up only 15 percent from last year, at a relatively humble $1.45 a pound.

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      Costco Wholesale has switched from Italy to Greece as the source of the extra-virgin olive oil for its Kirkland Signature 2-liter bottle, in what could be a big break for the economically battered cradle of Western Civilization and its relatively unheralded olive-oil... 
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  • Gourmet Olive Oil products put a premium on their origin

    Some years ago, Italian olive oil scored a big hit in gourmet stores around the world with ts luxury packaging. Its quality was probably no better than that of many Spanish olive oils, but its image swept aside the competition. However, in recent years, Spanish brands have spearheaded a real revolution and today the Spanish range of virgin olive oils is the biggest and best in the world, featuring products to suit every taste and varied, attractive packaging, ready to compete in the most exclusive establishments and restaurants around the world.

    2015-04-28_1226A good example of this is Aragem, a high-quality extra virgin olive oil that is made in Cambrils (Tarragona) and consumed in Tokyo. Its bottles, in their unique and stylish ceramic packaging, welcome guests on the tables of chef Carme Ruscalleda’s restaurant in the Japanese capital. Its quality has been vital for winning over Japanese gourmets but its packaging has also played a key role. Fernando Sarasa, manager of the Cooperativa de Cambrils, is convinced: “We have won awards such as Liderpack 2013 and Worldstar 2014, which has given us visibility in the media. We had been recognised for the quality of the oil, but never for the package, and it has given a new boost to sales and has taken the brand closer to people.”

    The success story of Aragem started when the cooperative made contact with the graphic design studio Debonatina and commissioned packaging for the Asian and Middle Eastern markets; packaging with a Mediterranean touch that would stand out.

     

    As with many other gourmet products, the brand wanted to make a point of highlighting its origin. According to the FIAB (Spanish Federation of

    Food and Drink Industries), exports now account for 25% of the sector’s turnover and the aim is to reach 40% by 2020. Premium food packs communicate the value of genuine local produce. With
    these packs, Spanish gourmet foods cross borders to export our most quintessential products and delight foodies around the world Gourmet products put a premium on their origin.

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    Some years ago, Italian olive oil scored a big hit in gourmet stores around the world with ts luxury packaging. Its quality was probably no better than that of many Spanish olive oils, but its image swept aside the competition. However, in recent years, Spanish brands have spearheaded... 
    Read More →