California extra virgin olive oil is gaining shelf space in Golden State supermarkets and specialty food retailers this summer. Star Fine Foods has launched its first grown-in-California olive oil with plans for major distribution and promotion.

The familiar brand has produced olive oils and Mediterranean products such as olives and vinegars for years, but this is the first time it is tapping the olive-friendly growing conditions of its Central California home base.

Though owned by Borges USA, a division of the Spanish food giant Borges Mediterranean Group, Star Fine Foods has been in California since 1898, making it one of the state’s  oldest food brands. Based in Fresno, it has a long history distributing specialty Mediterranean products made from both imported and domestic ingredients.

This is an opportune time for Star’s launch, which is also aimed at staking a West Coast claim on the popularity of the Mediterranean diet. California olive oil production is growing at an unprecedented rate while gaining a following around the world, thanks to the recognition of competition judges, as well as some cleverly manufactured controversy.

Star California Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a blend of Arbequina, Arbosana, and Koroneiki olives grown in the Central Valley. The 16-ounce and 24-ounce bottles have suggested retail prices of $9.45 and $12.98, respectively. A wider rollout throughout the West is anticipated in the fall.

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