For Italian consumers, extra virgin olive oil remains the most popular type due to its good quality and health credentials. As value sales have been negatively affected by the aggressive promotional activities of all large grocery retailers, stakeholders are looking for ways to drive unit price growth.
Olive oil is at the core of the Mediterranean diet, with Italy being one of the largest manufacturers and bottlers of olive oil worldwide. While the product is largely used when preparing traditional dishes, most foodservice establishments still put economy products on their tables.
Vegetable and seed oils have always been considered lower in quality when compared to extra virgin olive oil. With the increasing focus on health and wellness, the local production of soy, rice and hemp is reaching a record high, thus providing an opportunity for the growth of by-products such as oil.
Carapelli Firenze, the Italian subsidiary of the Spanish company Deoleo, remained the leading player in edible oils in Italy in 2018. However, the company continued to see its share decline steadily.
Monini has been one of the quickest companies in Italy to recognise the need to diversify its portfolio so as to be able offer to offer products which suit different consumer needs. Over time, the company has created a foodservice division which works specifically with operators, but has also been among the first to understand that in the future the same consumers might be looking for different types of oil.
Costa d’Oro is one of the leading companies in Italy for unfiltered olive oil, with filtering considered a process which does not add value or quality to the end product. Following the latest consumer trends, the company launched an organic line in 2018, which included an unfiltered extra virgin olive oil enriched with vitamin B12 and which is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
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