By Daniel Williams
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona
Chilean Co. Looks to Enter European Gourmet Market with Specialized Olive Oil and Help from Ministry of Agriculture
Chile’s olive oil industry continues to position itself in international markets as the Chileangourmet company recently made its first major export to the European Union, the largest olive oil consuming zone in the world. Chileangourmet was born in Chile in 2005 and the current exportation project is part of a greater plan implemented by Innovation in Marketing for Food and Agriculture, a $25 million project partially funded by the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture.
The Chileangourmet plan, entitled “Chileangourmet Merkén and Kultrún Exports” is aimed at attracting an enormous, stable European market by introducing olive oil flavored with the native Chilean spice Merkén- a spicy, aromatic seasoning created from dried and smoked Cayenne peppers.
The marketing initiative came from Chileangourmet’s need to open its exports to new international destinations, by taking into account the many lessons learned from export experiences with the United States. Specifically, the group wanted to capitalize on the exports of what it terms “noble foods”- those certified as being without any additives.
As a result, Europe came forward as the obvious meta-market although in exporting to the European Union, the group will face much tighter regulations with respect to labeling laws, traceability issues, food safety, and nutritional information. Because of this, Chileangourmet first called for a detailed marketing study through the support of Innovation in Marketing for Food and Agriculture, which sought to assess the gourmet European market and its perceived reception to Chilean food products. From this information, it was possible to determine the profitability of initiating a project of European exportation and commercialization.