For the largest American olive oil pro­ducer, California Olive Ranch (COR), it’s all about grow­ing: not olives, but mar­ket share.

Instead of slug­ging it out with smaller com­peti­tors for the lim­ited sup­ply of expen­sive home­grown fruit, the Chico-based com­pany led by CEO Gregg Kelley is con­tin­u­ing its emer­gence as a mar­keter of high-qual­ity olives oils made in California — and else­where.

COR raised eye­brows a few years back when it acquired the award-win­ning Italian brand Lucini at a time when bad-mouthing the qual­ity of imported olive oils was prac­ti­cally a sport in the local indus­try.

The Lucini acqui­si­tion sig­naled that COR had its sights more on sales growth than empha­siz­ing the American pedi­gree of its prod­uct range. “Our love of high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil extends beyond California,” the com­pany affirms on its web­site.

Now, COR, whose sales report­edly exceed $100 mil­lion, has announced a lim­ited-edi­tion release of its new Americas Blend, made with South American oils that will be avail­able through December in a 1.4‑liter “Chef Size” bot­tle.

The Americas Blend results from COR’s part­ner­ships with pro­duc­ers in South America — includ­ing Argentina, Peru and Chile — and fea­tures “fifty per­cent Californian and fifty per­cent South American extra vir­gin olive oil,” com­ing together to cre­ate a “mild fruity fla­vor with approach­able bit­ter­ness,” the com­pany said.

“We value the shar­ing of process and infor­ma­tion amongst pro­duc­ers in order to increase the qual­ity of extra vir­gin olive oil through­out the world,” said COR, which has thrown its con­sid­er­able weight behind a strat­egy which acknowl­edges that qual­ity olive oil, and higher prof­its, have no bound­aries.


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