`No Excuses for Poor Olive Oil Labeling - Olive Oil Times

No Excuses for Poor Olive Oil Labeling

Jan. 26, 2012
Julie Butler

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Olive oil labels should achieve three objec­tives — cap­ture atten­tion, com­ply with the law, and pro­vide all the infor­ma­tion con­sumers want, says Spanish mar­ket­ing expert David Martínez Roig.

Yet in a small sur­vey, Martínez Roig found most alright at the first, just okay at the sec­ond and pretty lousy at the third.

In a recent blog post, he said he had ran­domly cho­sen ten bot­tles of Spanish extra vir­gin olive oil and ana­lyzed their labels accord­ing to his cri­te­ria.

In terms of being aes­thet­i­cally appeal­ing, dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing and atten­tion-grab­bing, this was where the labels did best, show­ing atten­tion had been paid to graphic design.

As for com­ply­ing with rel­e­vant leg­is­la­tion, most of the labels did, but it was rare to find exam­ples going beyond the min­i­mum demanded by law to pro­vide addi­tional infor­ma­tion,” he said. Furthermore, in some cases the size and font type was designed to make it dif­fi­cult to read cer­tain parts of the infor­ma­tion.”

What con­sumers want to know

Martínez Roig says con­sumers these days want much more infor­ma­tion and while pro­duc­ers might not want to sat­u­rate their labels with it, there are ways around this, such as using bot­tle neck tags, QR codes and links to web sites and videos pro­vid­ing more infor­ma­tion.

The bot­tling loca­tion, extrac­tion method, olive vari­eties, best before dates, and sug­gested uses for an oil are among the details con­sumers want, he says. In the case of a blended oil, instead of merely com­ply­ing with EU law with state­ments such as blend of olive oils of European Union ori­gin” the ori­gin details should be pro­vided and could serve as a dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing fac­tor.


Where rel­e­vant, con­sumers may also want to know addi­tional details such as the car­bon foot­print, and eco­log­i­cal or nutri­tional prop­er­ties, such as the con­tent of antiox­i­dants like hydrox­y­ty­rosol.

Martínez Roig said another chal­lenge for con­sumers, par­tic­u­larly in super­mar­kets, is the use of terms such as light’ and intense’, with­out explain­ing what they mean.


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EU olive oil mar­ket­ing reg­u­la­tions
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