`Barjol Proposes an Olive Oil Campaign in Japan - Olive Oil Times

Barjol Proposes an Olive Oil Campaign in Japan

Apr. 12, 2012
Julie Butler

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Selling olive oil’s nutri­tional and health ben­e­fits to the Japanese is the focus of a new cam­paign being devel­oped by the International Olive Council.

IOC exec­u­tive direc­tor Jean-Louis Barjol said the plan awaited a green light from the IOC board but he hoped it could get started towards the end of the year.

Speaking in Spanish at the World Bulk Oil Exhibition in Madrid, Barjol said mate­r­ial used in the cam­paign to pro­mote olive oil and table olives could also be used as part of the IOC’s ongo­ing pro­mo­tion work in China.

He said he also had good news about a change in con­sumer behav­iour in China, where olive oil imports con­tinue to soar.

The Chinese con­sumer is no longer mainly buy­ing olive oil as a slightly unusual gift for friends, they are increas­ingly buy­ing it to use them­selves,” he said.

One of the main Chinese importers was work­ing towards the estab­lish­ment of the country’s first IOC-approved tast­ing panel, an ini­tia­tive the IOC was pro­vid­ing assis­tance for.

Last year the IOC com­mis­sioned mar­ket research on Japan, South Korea and Australia ahead of choos­ing one of the three for a new cam­paign. Barjol said today that research showed that the South Korean mar­ket was com­plex but looked very inter­est­ing, though sales were cur­rently low.

The South Korean peo­ple are already famil­iar with olive oil, and reached a cer­tain level of con­sump­tion (in 2004/05) which then fell when peo­ple shifted to grape­seed oil.”

It was a mar­ket that must not be neglected because it could play a dou­ble role, he said.

Not only was there poten­tial to claim back mar­ket share thanks to the high pur­chas­ing power of con­sumers there, South Korea also had an impact on trends in China. If olive oil became fash­ion­able in South Korea it could have a big influ­ence on the Chinese,” Barjol said.

As for Australia, cur­rent lev­els of olive oil imports into that coun­try were unlikely to change because it was increas­ing its con­sump­tion at the same time as its pro­duc­tion.

I have a lot of respect for Australia but it is a com­pli­cated coun­try and it’s not easy to work with them,” Barjol said.

Asked after his speech to clar­ify the com­ment, Barjol said that at times It is dif­fi­cult to know what the Australians are look­ing for.”

The Australian olive oil sec­tor some­times seemed out of step with the real­ity of Australian con­sumer behav­ior, he said. The sta­tis­tics show that the Australian con­sumer is the same as con­sumers else­where in the world, they are inter­ested in both vir­gin and pomace oil. For price rea­sons they want vir­gin olive oil for cold dishes and many buy pomace for fry­ing,” he said.

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