Working closely with bulk and wholesale olive oil buyers across the United States, I am privileged to have the latest industry trends revealed to me even before they’ve fully emerged in the marketplace. Everyday, I speak with buyers from a variety of industries: wholesale distributors, natural grocers, food service companies and local co-ops. I receive a plethora of requests for olive oil and have the opportunity to uncover the latest “food fashions.”
The newest trend: In-Store Bulk Dispensers of Olive Oil, found in Italian markets and large grocery chains. While this phenomenon has been around for some time in local co-ops, it's popularity has spread to mainstream stores with the growth of the specialty retail olive oil store.
While dry bulk food items have been available at your natural foods co-op and regional grocery chain for years, it’s taken some time for liquid ingredients to be offered with the same propensity. It’s been proven to me that olive oil will be the product to change all that.
A specialty item in high demand, olive oil is a staple in nearly every kitchen across the nation. Still, it’s not a “cheap” product, especially for the real thing-- the authentic 100% olive oil, which has become an absolute necessity for many.
Consumers look for any way to reduce their price without compromising quality. The solution: buying olive oil from the bulk section. As with all bulk items, this system offers reduced packaging costs and allows consumers to get just the amount that they’re looking for in their favorite container. This self-serve model also provides an extra amount of personal satisfaction (I can’t explain why, but most of you will agree).
As specialty olive oil and vinegar stores are cropping up across the nation, co-ops and mainstream grocery chains are taking notice and beginning to supply the proliferating demand for olive oil in their current bulk section. It seems only natural that these whole-foods grocers offer liquid bulk products, as they already serve the target market requesting them: natural and organic food buyers.
This bulk dispensing method also caters expressly to environmentally-conscious consumers. Each household can re-use their favorite bottle and, because they avoid unnecessary packaging expenses at each purchase, they receive an even better price for their olive oil. In addition, they reduce end waste and lower carbon emissions required to manufacture the packaging and transport the extra weight.
This “back to basics” method of supplying olive oil in the bulk department allows each grocery to focus on obtaining the best quality authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil for their customers. The only question that remains is, why did it take this long to start?
Topics: Industry Trends