Olisur Founder Alfonso Swett
Award-winning Chilean olive oil manufacturer Olisur is aiming to expand its international market, which already includes the United States and Canada. According to Just-Food, the company has received its first order from Korea and is now developing its presence in the highly competitive markets of Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Since its founding in 2001, Olisur has captured the attention of North American markets with its innovative growing techniques and sustainable farming practices and the quality of its products. Esquire food critic Ryan D’Agostino wrote last year, “[Olisur’s] Santiago Limited Edition oil is, it should be announced, delicious.”
Olive Oil Times wrote about the growth of Olisur in 2010 in an interview with founder Alfonso Swett. When asked about the reasoning behind the company’s avant-garde approach in an industry so steep in tradition, Swett pointed to market demand. “We must produce for other countries, and they request sustainability,” he explained.
Olisur current markets three tiers of quality (extra virgin, premium and limited edition) sold under the brand names Santiago, Ecolive and O-Live & Co. The USA and Canada are the company’s biggest buyers, but distributors in Asia, South America and Europe have also jumped on board.
Japan has imported Olisur products for three years and continues to be an important market in Asia, though South Korea is also on the horizon.
“Asia is a very important potential market for us,” said Marta Bonomo, Olisur’s export manager
Europe and Australia pose the greatest challenges for market expansion, albeit for different reasons. Australia and New Zealand both have fast-growing domestic markets and are home to an increasingly discerning consumer base moving towards “more expensive higher quality oils.”
Europe, on the other hand, already has a saturated market due to the high production volume in Spain and Italy.
“Every market has different characteristics and different problems. Our strategy is to diversify our markets and to distinguish ourselves through our quality and brands,” Bonomo said.