Bonolio Becomes Latest European Producer to Open U.S. Facility

The Sicilian producer plans to double its exports to the U.S.
Bonolio warehouse
By Paolo DeAndreis
Jun. 8, 2023 13:05 UTC

The largest Sicilian olive oil exporter to the United States said it would open a new multi-pur­pose facil­ity in Landing, New Jersey.

Bonolio, which recently won four awards at the 2023 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, plans to sig­nif­i­cantly expand its pres­ence in the U.S. mar­ket.

The new 2,000-square-meter build­ing includes the company’s ware­house, dis­tri­b­u­tion, logis­tics and cor­po­rate office.

See Also:Starbucks Expands Olive Oil-Infused Coffee Line to U.S. Stores

The estab­lish­ment of the new build­ing, the ware­house, the office will improve our entire oper­a­tion in the U.S.,” chief exec­u­tive Salvatore Russo-Tiesi told Olive Oil Times. We are now fully ver­ti­cally inte­grated; we now han­dle all the pieces of our sup­ply chain, from pro­duc­tion to sale, dis­trib­u­tors or retail­ers.”

The new invest­ment will also allow us to increase our busi­ness-to-con­sumer activ­i­ties, to reach the con­sumer directly,” he added.

With its announce­ment, Bonolio becomes the most recent addi­tion to a slow but steady trend of European pro­duc­ers open­ing U.S. facil­i­ties.

Last year, fel­low Italian pro­ducer Certified Origins announced a $25 mil­lion invest­ment in a new pro­duc­tion facil­ity in Virginia, where olive oil would be blended, bot­tled, pack­aged and dis­trib­uted.

In 2019, Spanish olive oil giant Acesur announced it would open a new pro­duc­tion facil­ity in Virginia to avoid a 25-per­cent tar­iff applied to some pack­aged Spanish olive oil exports. The facil­ity opened in 2021.


Bonolio warehouse

Bonolio already exports sev­eral of its extra vir­gin olive oils pro­duced in Italy, Spain and Tunisia to the U.S.

However, a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the exports is its flag­ship Protected Geographical Indicator-cer­ti­fied Sicilian extra vir­gin olive oil, which is in more than 4,000 retail­ers nation­wide, includ­ing The Fresh Market, Whole Foods Markets, Stop and Shop and Wegmans.

According to the com­pany, Bono USA sells 500,000 liters of its PGI Sicilian oils annu­ally. Russo-Tiesi added that the com­pany sells an addi­tional 500,000 liters of its other extra vir­gin olive oils.

However, Bonolio’s chief exec­u­tive said he antic­i­pates a chal­leng­ing next few years for the com­pany.

We are going to have a cou­ple of chal­leng­ing years, as bad weather hit major pro­duc­ing areas across the Mediterranean,” Russo-Tiesi said. Given the rel­a­tive scarcity of the prod­uct, prices are under­go­ing an unbe­liev­able rise.”

According to the International Olive Council, the United States will import an esti­mated 360,000 tons of olive oil in the 2022/23 crop year, slightly below the five-year aver­age of 375,000 tons.

Overall, U.S. olive oil imports have steadily grown in the last decades. In 1990/91, olive oil imports reached just 90,000. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the U.S. is the world’s largest olive oil importer.

The United States has seen a dra­matic increase in healthy, good-for-you prod­ucts, and noth­ing is bet­ter for you than olive oil,” Russo-Tiesi said. That is what has dri­ven this incred­i­ble growth. Apart from the chal­lenges of the present moment, we expect such a trend to con­tinue.”


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