Alex Fdez-Cruz Soldevila, director of Barcelona-based marketing and web design agency Frescota.

They used to claim their extra virgin olive oil was “the best oil in the world” – and they still think it is – but the producers of Catalonia’s Siurana DOP now have a new slogan that instead emphasizes their innate “understanding” of it.

The move away from the world-best boast was due to a feeling that such things are “okay for a grandparent to say about their grandchildren” but “don’t sound good when you say them about yourself,” according to Alex Fdez-Cruz Soldevila, director of Barcelona-based marketing and web design agency Frescota.

Frescota is behind the image makeover – including a new logo, labeling, website and slogan – for the DOP (Protected Denomination of Origin), which covers 12,000ha in Tarragona, in southern Catalonia, and an average annual certified production of 4,000t.

Artisanal tradition stressed

Fdez-Cruz said the slogan “Entendre l’oli” – which he translates from Catalan as “Understanding olive oil” – is much more powerful.

”It says that Siurana is a community where olive oil has been part of the culture for centuries and people are experts in its production – they have inherited a tradition of understanding what making virgin extra olive oil is all about.

“The level of quality has been recognised by the rest of the world and many awards reflect it. This is why the producers do not have to say “we make the best olive oil in the world” – that has to be said by experts and consumers,” he said.

Simple but sufficiently striking logo sought


Meanwhile he hopes the new logo – a drop of oil plunging from a plump olive under a canopy of two olive tree leaves – will provoke in consumers a sense of “distinction, elegance and tradition.”

“After doing a benchmark study of different oil regions worldwide we decided on a simple, clean, black and white design. We wanted a logo that was understated but elegant, one that having seen just once you would nevertheless remember,” he said.

Price matters to consumers but so do quality and origin

Development of the logo and brand claim was a process that took about six weeks, then Frescota designed a new website, pictures and video, “which took about five months or more because we had to wait for the right moment to take the photos and shoot the video.”

Consumer research guided the work and revealed that, “price is very important but people are willing to pay more if they understand they are purchasing premium quality virgin extra olive oil,” Fdez-Cruz said.

“The region is also important yet not many consumers know that some of the finest oils are made here. They think that Jaén and other areas in the south of Spain are the best olive oil producers, which is not true as it is much hotter there and that affects the oils’ quality due to the high temperatures that the olives are subjected to once they are harvested and even in the mills.”

Lack of awareness of DOP rigors

Fdez-Cruz said many consumers were also unaware that “in order to be able to put the DOP Siurana stamp on a bottle of oil produced in that area, the standards and requirements are very high.”

“For example, when the olives are harvested, they must be carried in small baskets so they aren’t harmed or squashed by pressure, as they might be if carried in large containers. And they are promptly taken to the mill, where they are kept under 30ºC in order to conserve the molecules and all the quality of the arbequina olives that grow in this region influenced by the winds and humidity of the Mediterranean sea,” he said.

Slogan captures “ancestral wisdom”

Siurana DOP president Francisco Prats said the new logo was very clear, elegant and distinctive, while the new slogan “conveys an ancestral wisdom in the management of olive groves, the making of olive oil, and all the culture surrounding this that impregnates the towns and villages of the Siurana DOP.”

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