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Consumers want quality, authenticity when shopping for olive oil

Pompeian is putting its farmers, craftsmanship and quality front-and-center to boost consumer confidence in the olive oil aisle, where shoppers often feel overwhelmed.

4 min read


Consumers want quality, authenticity when shopping for olive oil

(Image: Pompeian)

This post is sponsored by Pompeian.

Olive oil is a staple in many US kitchens. In fact, according to Simmons’ Fall 2018 NHCS Adult Study, eighty-six percent of US consumers say they prefer olive oil to other oils. While a majority of US consumers are using olive oil for its health benefits, helping to grow the $1.2 billion category year over year, shoppers are finding themselves confused and overwhelmed by the many choices. In a recent focus group study conducted by Libran Research & Consulting, Pompeian, a Baltimore-based olive oil company, found that consumers are craving authenticity and are seeking real products from companies with a strong heritage and expertise.

Pompeian found that the sea of sameness in the olive oil aisle elevates consumer confusion, leading people to spend more time shopping the olive oil shelves than any other aisle in the store. The shelves of dark green bottles can be tricky for shoppers to navigate, and consumer understanding of what makes one olive oil different from another is lacking.

With a lack of understanding about the category, price is often the main deciding factor for shoppers when selecting which olive oil to buy, with consumers segmenting olive oil into categories based on price. However, quality and authenticity also play a key role in food shopping decisions. US shoppers are looking for cues that indicate products are high quality (52%), healthy (37%) and authentic (24%) when looking at brands, according to a 2017 Acosta Category Survey.

Through its new “Difference Is” marketing campaign, Pompeian — The Olive Oil People — is dedicated to helping solve confusion in the aisle by educating consumers on its key differences that make it an authentic choice — its family of farmers, legacy of craftsmanship and high-quality standards.

Communicating Pompeian’s history and expertise — the company has been crafting olive oil since 1906 — and its family of farmers and olive oil craftsman demonstrates the brand’s heritage and experience, which are key factors that consumers look for when determining a product’s authenticity, according to the company’s research. 

Another expectation shoppers have of authentic products is that they are “real/unadulterated,” the focus group study found. Consumers are increasingly concerned about food safety, and proving a product’s quality is key to ensuring shoppers feel confident in their purchase. In fact, 43% of Americans have changed their eating habits due to food safety concerns, according to the IFIC 2018 Food & Health Study.

To ensure quality, Pompeian craftsmen regularly conduct sensory testing of its extra virgin olive oil within the company’s bottling facilities. Pompeian boasts the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal and North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA) Seal, and is the first national brand to participate in the US Department of Agriculture’s Quality Monitoring Program (QMP) and carry the USDA Quality Monitored Seal.

“Rooted in authenticity, Pompeian is dedicated to helping people eat and live well every day, starting with our family of farmers and artisans who nurture the world’s best olives from grove to table,” said Pompeian’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mouna Aissaoui. “From start to finish, Pompeian craftsmen are committed to full traceability, helping bring authentic, farmer-crafted olive oil to US kitchens.”

As the leader in the category — Pompeian is America’s largest national brand of olive oil, best-selling wine vinegars and a variety of cooking sprays — the company aims to help clear up confusion in the olive oil aisle and differentiate itself from competitors by putting the company’s long history of olive oil expertise and farmer-crafted offerings front-and-center.

To learn more about how Pompeian is delivering authenticity and transparency in the olive oil aisle, download this infographic, which illustrates the Pompeian difference.


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