Starbucks Could Become a Global Ambassador for EVOO, Experts Say

A new generation of consumers might discover extra virgin olive oil through Starbucks' new line of olive oil-infused coffee drinks.

By Paolo DeAndreis
Mar. 1, 2023 15:06 UTC

Some experts pre­dict that Starbucks’ ini­tia­tive to blend Italian olive oil and cof­fee might sig­nif­i­cantly enhance the global pop­u­lar­ity of extra vir­gin olive oil.

Last week, Starbucks intro­duced five new olive oil-infused hot and cold cof­fee bev­er­ages at its flag­ship Italian loca­tion in Milan. The com­pany used Nocellara del Belice extra vir­gin olive oil sourced from the NYIOOC award-win­ning pro­ducer – Oleificio Asaro – in Partanna, Sicily.

Should the cof­fee-extra vir­gin olive oil mix achieve a high level of sat­is­fac­tion among con­sumers… for sure, it could win the inter­est of those who might still be hes­i­tant to con­sume… olive oil.- Denis Pantini, agri­food econ­o­mist, Nomisma

Nicholas Sampogna, a spokesman for Starbucks, declined to com­ment on why the multi­na­tional cof­fee­house chose Oleificio Asaro. The Sicilian pro­duc­er’s Partanna brand earned a Gold Award at the 2022 World Olive Oil Competition.

Sampogna con­firmed that Partanna would also be used in olive oil-infused cof­fee bev­er­ages when launched in California, the United Kingdom and the Middle East later in the year.

See Also:First Vodka Made With Olive Oil Released in Italy

Partanna extra vir­gin olive oil is the exclu­sive brand that will be used to craft Starbucks Oleato as we launch around the world,” he told Olive Oil Times.


Starvucks supplier Partanna is listed in the Official Guide to the World’s Best Olive Oils.

According to Anna Cane, pres­i­dent of the olive oil group of the Italian Association of the Edible Oil Industry (Assitol), the new bev­er­age could widen the olive oil mar­ket’s hori­zons.

Mixing cof­fee and olive oil is a truly chal­leng­ing inno­va­tion,” she told Olive Oil Times. Extra vir­gin olive oil is an extra­or­di­nary prod­uct. Giving it value through cof­fee could relaunch its image, mostly among the younger gen­er­a­tions.”

Denis Pantini, head of the agri­food busi­ness unit at Nomisma, a con­sult­ing firm, said Starbucks’ global reach could pro­vide a sig­nif­i­cant plat­form to pro­mote olive oil.

As he waits for a taste of the new cof­fee, Pantini told Olive Oil Times how the part­ner­ship between a big player such as Starbucks and a Made in Italy’ prod­uct such as extra vir­gin olive oil offers, with­out doubt, both pro­mo­tion and vis­i­bil­ity for Italian olive oil.”

Should the cof­fee-extra vir­gin olive oil mix achieve a high level of sat­is­fac­tion among con­sumers, then its pos­i­tive effect will be even more ampli­fied,” he added. For sure, it could win the inter­est of those who might still be hes­i­tant to con­sume a healthy prod­uct such as olive oil.”

While rep­re­sent­ing a break­through for the American cof­fee­house chain, Cane empha­sized how inno­va­tors increas­ingly use extra vir­gin olive oil to ven­ture into new food and bev­er­age con­sump­tion cat­e­gories.

Think of extra vir­gin olive oil-based cock­tails, which are appre­ci­ated by all great bar­tenders or the olive oil-based Panettone [a pop­u­lar Italian Christmas fruit cake],” she said, adding that extra vir­gin olive oil is increas­ingly used in ice creams and pas­tries.

Pantini said the wide vari­ety of extra vir­gin olive oil organolep­tic prop­er­ties pro­vide plenty of oppor­tu­ni­ties for inno­v­a­tive food pro­duc­ers to exper­i­ment.

Consumers have plenty to choose from and to explore,” he said. Let us hope that this new part­ner­ship trig­gers a vir­tu­ous cir­cle enabling [extra vir­gin olive oil] pro­mo­tion and giv­ing new value to the Italian olive oil and specif­i­cally to those olive oils which come from the many dif­fer­ent ter­ri­to­ries of the coun­try.”

Daniel Dawson con­tributed to this report.

Share this article


Related Articles