`Building on "Proven Success" IOC Plans Summer Launch of US Campaign - Olive Oil Times

Building on "Proven Success" IOC Plans Summer Launch of US Campaign

Apr. 8, 2011
Olive Oil Times Staff

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The exec­u­tive direc­tor of the International Olive Council told the Olive Oil Times this week that his agency plans to spend 1.2 mil­lion euros ($1.7 mil­lion) to pro­mote olive oil use in the United States and Canada, build­ing on what the lat­est IOC mar­ket report calls its proven suc­cess” in the world’s biggest mar­ket.

Olive oil con­sump­tion in the US rose by 15 per­cent, accord­ing to the report, for the five year period through 2009. From 2010 through 2013, con­sump­tion is expected to climb another 10 per­cent. The IOC report includes a graph indi­cat­ing a sharp increase in olive oil use that coin­cided with the begin­ning of the pro­mo­tional activ­i­ties by what was then called the International Olive Oil Council. Other fac­tors that might have led to the trend were not exam­ined in the sum­mary. Meanwhile, con­sump­tion of all veg­etable oils dur­ing the same period was only up about 4 per­cent (PDF).

The IOC will pub­lish in the com­ing weeks a call for ten­ders, or request for pro­pos­als, for the pro­mo­tional cam­paign which the agency wants to launch dur­ing the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade’s Fancy Food Show to be held in Washington this Summer. Promotional ini­tia­tives are expected to focus on the retail level where the agen­cy’s research has indi­cated it is eas­ier to influ­ence buy­ing deci­sions.

Other find­ings in the IOC mar­ket sum­mary for March included data sup­port­ing the well-known American pref­er­ence for Italian olive oil, which accounted for more than half of US imports in the most recent two years — more than dou­ble the imports from Spain, the world’s largest olive oil pro­ducer. Then again, dur­ing the same period inves­ti­ga­tions have shown olive oil ship­ments from var­i­ous ori­gins were rou­tinely labeled as Italian, so whether or not Americans actu­ally con­sumed more olive oil made in Italy than from oth­ers regions dur­ing the period would be hard to deter­mine.

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