`Hojiblanca Goes After Tough Iranian Market - Olive Oil Times

Hojiblanca Goes After Tough Iranian Market

Oct. 17, 2012
Naomi Tupper

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Tehran’s Grand Bazaar

Despite high entrance fees and strict bureau­cratic reg­u­la­tions, the Hojiblanca group have set about increas­ing their pro­mo­tion of olive oil in Iran, a coun­try which is seen to have poten­tial for sig­nif­i­cant growth in the olive oil mar­ket. The group, made up of almost thirty Córdoba based coop­er­a­tives has begun a new adver­tis­ing cam­paign in Iran, in the hope of increas­ing and strength­en­ing exports.

Hojiblanca has been export­ing to Iran for five years, start­ing with table olives, and more recently includ­ing extra vir­gin olive oils, with ini­tial pre­dic­tions of about 250,000 liters per year. Current exports are worth around EUR 1 mil­lion ($1.3 mil­lion) to the com­pany. However, Iran, a coun­try with a pop­u­la­tion of 80 mil­lion peo­ple, con­sumes about 10,000 tons of olive oil a year, and so is seen as hav­ing great poten­tial, despite duty taxes of 90 per­cent on bulk olive imports, 45 per­cent for pack­aged olives and 50 per­cent for olive oils.

The Hojiblanca pro­mo­tional cam­paign is based on a com­bined approach of olive oil tast­ings and out­door adver­tis­ing, such as bill­boards. Tastings will be offered at points of sale, giv­ing con­sumers the oppor­tu­nity to sam­ple extra vir­gin olive oils pro­duced by the 26,000 fam­i­lies of olive grow­ers from nine dif­fer­ent Spanish provinces that make up the group.

Billboards will also be placed in high vis­i­bil­ity areas of major cities includ­ing Tehran, Ahvaz, Isfahan and Shiraz, with an empha­sis on the taste of extra vir­gin olive oil, a key sell­ing fac­tor in a mar­ket more accus­tomed to bland oils. A focus on purity and qual­ity is also impor­tant as Iran has pre­vi­ously been sub­ject to poor qual­ity imports and impure domes­ti­cally pro­duced olive oil.

The Hojiblanca group is a world leader in olive oil pro­duc­tion, and con­tin­ues to grow and add more part­ners to the entity annu­ally. Last year’s har­vest saw 246,845 tons of olive oil pro­duced by the com­pany, break­ing records from pre­vi­ous sea­sons. This huge har­vest rep­re­sents about 7.9 per­cent of the total olive oil pro­duc­tion world­wide, with coop­er­a­tives in Córdoba, Jaén and Málaga lead­ing the way with around 74,000 tons of olive oil har­vested each.

As a coop­er­a­tive, the Hojiblanca group has grown rapidly since its for­ma­tion in 2003, when the coop­er­a­tives of Cordoliva and Oleica Hojiblanca joined forces, aim­ing to cre­ate greater com­mer­cial­iza­tion of prod­ucts and increased ser­vices to grow­ers. With a turnover of EUR 535.9 mil­lion ($703.2 mil­lion) last year, of which 389 mil­lion cor­re­sponded to the coop­er­a­tive, the Hojiblanca group is the lead­ing pro­ducer of olive oils and table olives world­wide.


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