Saturday, January 3, 2015

Off-the-Shelf Olive Oil Competition in USA and Canada to Reward Value for Money

A new Olive Oil competition planned for North America during 2015 will reset consumers’ expectations of awards in the olive oil industry. The results will be announced at a two-day conference in Chicago on 25 and 26 August.

The competition will introduce a number of innovations by evaluating the olive oils on a range of attributes important to consumers:
  • Entries will be collected off-the-shelf as the consumers would buy the products
  • The olive oils must be available in the USA and/or Canada
  • Scoring will include points for:
    • flavour
    • percentage of healthy monounsaturated fats
    • smoke point
    • price
 The winners will reflect ‘value for money‘ and the judging panel will be consumer-based.
The organisers are the North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA) in association with International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Savantes. The competition is designed to give greater credibility to awarded olive oils.

An off-the shelf competition is unique and highly credible because it prevents suppliers from developing an olive oil to be used for competition entries that is different from the oil sold in the marketplace under the same brand.

Entries for the competition will open in early 2015 with the winners being announced at the Chicago event at the end of August 2015.

Eryn Balch, Executive Vice President of the NAOOA, when announcing the new competition said: ‘We hope to redesign the landscape of olive oil competitions worldwide by concentrating on the factors important to consumers, namely flavor, health benefits, smoke point and price. The concept of value for money – high quality flavorsome extra virgin olive oil at a reasonable price – will catch on.’

She added ’we have also included a category for olive oil grade products to communicate to consumers that although extra virgin is the best olive oil, all olive oil is better than other vegetable oils’.

Further details of the competition and Chicago Conference will be available through a link to by the end of January.