`Pitching Olive Oil a Little at a Time - Olive Oil Times

Pitching Olive Oil a Little at a Time

Oct. 18, 2012
Elena Paravantes

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Gourmè Mist Founders Simona Paige and Sherene Renee Costanzo

One of the most inter­est­ing aspects of the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo is the prod­uct exhi­bi­tion where atten­dees have the oppor­tu­nity to dis­cover emerg­ing trends in the nutri­tion indus­try.

Olive oil has been widely rec­og­nized as a healthy ingre­di­ent for many years now by the sci­en­tific com­mu­nity, but for some con­sumers it may still need a gen­tle intro­duc­tion. How does it taste? How do you use it? How many calo­ries does it have? For many, olive oil still remains a mys­te­ri­ous” ingre­di­ent.

This year olive oil had a stronger pres­ence at the con­fer­ence, and a trend that appeared was: add olive oil to your diet, even if it’s just a lit­tle.

Pompeian, estab­lished in the U.S. in 1906, was pro­vid­ing sam­ples of their blend of canola oil, olive oil, and grape­seed oil called Olivextra, which is pro­moted for sal­ads, fry­ing and sautéing. Brenda Erwin, direc­tor of con­sumer pro­mo­tions at Pompeian told Olive Oil Times that extra vir­gin olive oil is their best seller, how­ever they find that their blends work as a step­ping stone” for peo­ple who have not used olive oil before, and may not be used to the fla­vor. By using the blend, they may even­tu­ally progress to adopt olive oil in their diets.

Another olive oil prod­uct pre­sented at the con­fer­ence was a spray called Gourmè Mist — a non-aerosol spray con­tain­ing only olive oil with no addi­tives or other ingre­di­ents. The olive oil is organic extra vir­gin imported from Italy, Spain, Tunisia or Turkey. Again, here olive oil is pro­moted in small, con­trolled amounts. The idea of spray­ing olive oil on a pan or a salad, instead of pour­ing it, may be a for­eign con­cept to olive oil pro­duc­ers, culi­nary pro­fes­sion­als and indi­vid­u­als who use this ingre­di­ent on a daily basis, but for some con­sumers a spray may be the way to intro­duce olive oil to their diets bit by bit.

While these ways of con­sum­ing olive oil may not be opti­mal within the frame of the tra­di­tional Mediterranean diet, pro­mot­ers say they’re a good step for­ward toward attract­ing those who might not oth­er­wise give it a try.



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