Olive oil, a Deep Dive with the pros. Takeaways from the Dames D’escoffier New York’s round table
On May 30th, leaders from the global olive oil industry convened via Zoom to explore how to modernize the age-old olive oil business. The panel featured five prominent women: Lori Jean Levy, the CEO of My Global Table LLC; Chef Maria Loi, representing Loi Food Products; Marie-Charlotte Piro, the Founder and CEO of Olio Piro LLC; Maria Reyes, an expert in Specialty and Natural Foods; and Cristina Stribacu, the Founder of LIÁ Premium Olive Oil Company.
During the discussion, these five women delved into topics such as the journey of introducing a specialty product to the market, the significance of procuring high-quality oil, the importance of educating consumers, strategies for building a brand that captures buyer attention, the role of strategic social media use, and how to distinguish oneself while also supporting competitors.
"We cannot go at it alone," remarks Marie-Charlotte Piro when it comes to the production and sale of premium olive oil. "In the fiercely competitive US market, saturated with olive oil brands, our key to gaining attention is uniting around high-quality, top-tier extra virgin olive oil." Piro regards the finest olive oil as the equivalent of the top-shelf category. Part of her mission involves educating consumers that it is entirely justified to invest $50 in a bottle of olive oil when it is genuinely fresh, carefully selected, and extraordinarily flavorful. She adds, "The more of us occupying that top tier, the more reassured both customers and retailers will become."
Reflecting on the past, Piro poses the question, "Back in the 1980s, who would have imagined Americans would allocate such substantial resources to wine?" Today, everyone seems to possess knowledge about wine. Piro envisions a similar path for olive oil. There is the allure and passion associated with the Mediterranean lifestyle that both wine and olive oil embody, coupled with the undeniable quality of the product. It represents a luxury item with enormous potential.
Read the article from The Olive Oil Professor