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
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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.

cooking-with-olive-oil-business-europe-starbucks-could-become-a-global-ambassador-for-evoo-experts-say-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.


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