By Daniel Williams
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona
Spanish Leader Grupo SOS Initiates Optimistic Distribution Deal for Bertolli Olive Oil with Japanese Importer
Grupo SOS of Spain has reached a distribution agreement with Japan Europea Trading Company (JET) to create a sales network specializing in distributing Mediterranean products to principal cities throughout Japan. The agreement is based around the specific sale of the Bertolli brand of olive oil and JET hopes to increase the presence of this product in Japanese hotels and restaurants.
To promote the Bertolli olive oil brand, JET will host a number of cooking courses in major Japanese cities. The marketing project is designed to popularize Mediterranean cuisine of which olive oil is a ubiquitous ingredient.
Grupo SOS of Spain acquired the Bertolli olive oil business from Unilever, a London-based food producer, for £500 million in 2008 as part of its disposal of non-essential businesses. Despite this, Unilever still retains the Bertolli brand name for other products including margarine, frozen meals, and pasta sauce.
At the moment, Bertolli already possesses a respectable 5% market share in Japan, while the Grupo SOS’ complete set of olive oils holds a 12% share of the Japanese sector through Bertolli, Carbonell and Carapelli. According to Grupo SOS, the future looks even more optimistic and the company has forecasted an additional 5 percent market share increase in the next decade.
Each year, Japan imports some 30,000 tons of olive oil making it the number one buyer of olive oil in Asia and the third-largest buyer worldwide.
Grupo SOS is a Spanish company in the food industry that brings together diverse leading brands in the Spanish and European markets. Its main products are rice, olives and olive oil. Today it is the second largest Spanish food business in annual sales (after Ebro Puleva). Grupo SOS is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the code SOS.