` Mediterranean Olive Oil Exhibition in Shanghai - Olive Oil Times

Mediterranean Olive Oil Exhibition in Shanghai

Nov. 3, 2014
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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