New Year Resolutions

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There are some words and expressions which have become part of the olive industry vocabulary which we will try and replace in 2015:

Educate consumers – used constantly by those promoting the use of extra virgin olive. The implication is that we have the knowledge and need to pass it on to the ‘uneducated’ consumer – in terms of vegetable oil usage anyway. Consumers are not uneducated and make their purchasing decisions for a range of good reasons – taste, health, price, tradition and availability. Perhaps we should communicate better with consumers – a two way process where we can understand their needs and offer our extra virgin olive oil or olive oil to meet them.

Grassy or freshly cut grass – used to describe the aroma of fresh extra virgin olive oil. Humans don’t eat grass so why would we describe a food as grassy when there are many other fresh green herbs which can be used to describe the fresh herbal aroma. So let’s cut the ‘grassy’.

Olive leaves – same as for ‘grassy’. We don’t eat olive leaves and they only smell when crushed in the olive oil mills – visited by very few consumers.

Pungent – used to describe the flavour of robust or intense extra virgin olive oils, and toilet cleaners, industrial chemicals and other caustic products. Amongst its synonyms are stinking, odoriferous and sharp. Robust and intense are more descriptive with less ‘odorous’ implications – so let’s use them and throw out pungent.

Our New Year Resolution is to communicate the flavour and other benefits of extra virgin olive oils using less patronising language and use descriptive terms that relate to the food with which the oil will be used.


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