`Mediterranean Olive Oil Exhibition in Shanghai

Asia

Mediterranean Olive Oil Exhibition in Shanghai

Nov. 3, 2014
By Claudia Looi

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The SUDOLIVE Asia Olive Oil Exhi­bi­tion was held in con­junc­tion with VINISUD Asia, from Octo­ber 29th to Octo­ber 31st, 2014.

For the first time in Shang­hai the SUDOLIVE Asia Olive Oil Exhi­bi­tion was held in con­junc­tion with their Mediter­ranean wine coun­ter­part, VINISUD Asia, from Octo­ber 29th to Octo­ber 31st, 2014.

China is the world’s sixth largest importer of olive oil and the wave of olive oil demand reflects China’s soar­ing eco­nomic growth that has awak­ened taste buds and health aware­ness in the new class of Chi­nese con­sumers.

At the exhi­bi­tion was a mod­est rep­re­sen­ta­tion of olive oil pro­duc­ers and exporters from Mediter­ranean regions. Two of the exhibitors were Mai­son Albert from France and WOO (Wines Oil and Oth­ers, S.L.U) from Spain.

Beat­rice Albert and Beat­rice Pfis­ter were rep­re­sent­ing France’s Mai­son Albert. Ms. Pfis­ter said, Chi­nese are already con­sumers of lux­ury French goods, fash­ion, cos­met­ics, food and wine. They want the best for them­selves and their chil­dren.”

Beat­rice Pfis­ter rep­re­sented the French pro­ducer Mai­son Albert

Mai­son Albert’s Domaine Bugadelles is located between Nar­bonne and the Mediter­ranean Sea, in South­ern France at the heart of the Langue­doc. Con­sid­ered new in the olive oil indus­try, Domaine Bugadelles has just 25 hectares of olive trees. They pro­duce organic olive oils from the Picholine, Luc­ques and Olivieres vari­eties with an acid­ity, Pfis­ter said, of 0.35 per­cent.

Stephen Fang, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive for WOO Spain said Chi­nese con­sumers are brand con­scious. There are two major fac­tors they look for in olive oil: First is the brand and the sec­ond is the acid­ity. A lower oleic acid seems to be a major sell­ing point in China.

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Fang pointed out that Chi­nese con­sumers are con­cerned with food safety. He said Chi­nese con­sumers per­ceive every­thing imported as safer than foods pro­duced locally, and most Chi­nese equate higher price to higher qual­ity.

WOO is a Span­ish export com­pany spe­cial­iz­ing in Span­ish gourmet food, wine and olive oil. Other than spe­cially-labeled Span­ish olive oil, the com­pany pro­vides pri­vate labeled prod­ucts to local importers. Fang, who has been with the com­pany for four years, thinks it is get­ting more dif­fi­cult to con­trol the qual­ity of olive oil in China.

When olive oil is sold in bulk to importers in China, you will never know what per­cent­age of other oils are added to the pure olive oil, Fang said. Recent news of a cook­ing oil scan­dal in Tai­wan was on the minds of buy­ers.

Prob­lems aside, when asked why Chi­nese con­sumers are buy­ing olive oil, one attendee said, sim­ply, it makes a great gift. Giv­ing expen­sive gifts is not only impor­tant; it is a sta­tus sym­bol of the giver and dis­plays the impor­tance of the receiver, he said. We pur­chase and present olive oil as gifts to impor­tant asso­ciates, busi­ness part­ners, friends and fam­ily on sig­nif­i­cant occa­sions like Chi­nese New Year, pro­mo­tions or par­ties.”

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