Olive oil is one of center store’s glossy stars. Driven by a desire to eat healthier, sales have been shin- ing for several years now, and are only expected to get stronger. With a grove full of brands to choose
from, most with healthy price tags and margins, that is good
news for retailers and their bottom lines. In fact, many retailers
have reduced the space allotted to traditional vegetable oils to
expand their olive oil sets.
“The consumer that buys olive oil buys higher margin items—
better cuts of meat, endive, fresh mozzarella and other fresh
foods that they want to drizzle with olive oil,” says Bill Monroe,
president of Pompeian, based in Baltimore.
“We continue to see the organic and non-GMO movement
grow across the globe,” says Mark Coleman, senior VP – Retail
Division at Ayer, Mass.-based Catania Oils. “People are more
concerned about what they are putting into their bodies and
where it is coming from. There are more labeling standards and
guidelines affecting this market than ever, and it is improving
the quality of the oils that are available.”
Retailers should organize their set in a way that respects the
fine nature of the product, says Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne,
co-founder of the Extra Virgin Alliance, a Petaluma, Calif.-based
organization that seeks to teach retailers about the different
grades of olive oil, which includes, in declining quality order,
extra virgin, virgin, lampante or crude and refined.
“The top shelf is a terrible place to put good extra virgin olive
oil because it catches the brunt of the fluorescent lighting,”
Devarenne says, noting that olive oil is especially susceptible to
A properly merchandised selection of olive oils can help drive center store traffic.
BY RICHARD TURCSIK
ALL OILED UP