` In France, a Van Runs on Olive Oil (and €16.5 Million) - Olive Oil Times

In France, a Van Runs on Olive Oil (and €16.5 Million)

Jun. 25, 2010
Lindsey Partos

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In a bid to pro­mote Mediterranean olive oil to French house­holds, a bespoke olive oil’ van has spent the pre­vi­ous month snaking across France.

From Paris to Lille, Quimper to Angers, the van offered shop­pers at super­mar­kets, out­door mar­kets and shop­ping malls the oppor­tu­nity to taste a vari­ety of olive oils hail­ing from the Mediterranean basin

The Interprofessional Olive Oil from Spain, the Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM) and the European Commission have invested 16.5 mil­lion euros, with the aim of increas­ing sales and con­sump­tion of olive oil in Europe. The cam­paign will have a dura­tion of three years, from September 2009 to October 2012, and will appear in France, the UK, Belgium, Holland and Spain.

In France, the pro­mo­tion ran from 18 May to 12 June and saw a French chef cook­ing up a vari­ety of recipes based on olive oil for the ben­e­fit of the shop­pers.

After tast­ing the var­i­ous olive oil dishes, the French shop­pers were given pro­mo­tional mate­r­ial includ­ing pen­cils, bot­tle stop­pers and anti-stress balls.

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The objec­tive of this road show is to get closer to the pub­lic and to intro­duce them to the many dif­fer­ent vari­eties of olive oil that exist, as well as the oils’ nutri­tional and taste prop­er­ties,” said the organ­is­ers.

In addi­tion to the road show, the cam­paign organ­is­ers have dis­trib­uted nation­wide pro­mo­tional fly­ers in order to attract the max­i­mum num­ber of peo­ple” to their olive oil con­test.

The quiz on olive oil has been set up on the pro­mo­tional web­site . Winners of the quiz will gain a trip for two peo­ple to south­ern Spain or Catalonia.

The road show builds on the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of olive oil in French kitchens. According to Afidol – the inter­pro­fes­sional asso­ci­a­tion for France stake­hold­ers in olive oil – French con­sump­tion of extra vir­gin olive oil alone has exploded” in the past twenty years from 23 000 tonnes to 100 000 tonnes with 65 per cent of house­holds now stock­ing a bot­tle in their cup­boards.

Olive oil con­sump­tion now falls a close sec­ond in terms of con­sump­tion behind sun­flower oil, the country’s top cook­ing oil.

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