extract from the Joanne Friedrick interview with Marco
The health benefit of olive oil can't
be overlooked and are often at the heart of marketing
campaigns. Marco Petrini form Monini
North America said in Italy is a well-accepted
custom to give a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
to babies to help with their fat intake and aid digestion.
He said pediatrician in Italy suggested this practice
and thus Monini has done some seminars with doctors
in the United States to highlight this practice. The
company is also going into some schools to talk about
the healthful properties of olive oil as part of the
campaign to reduce childhood obesity. "So
many people need to have a more healthy diet"
said Petrini."But those who don't have
good habits aren't getting this message".
Another focus for Monini, said Petrini is dealing only
with authentic products from Italy. He
said although many oils on the market have Italian names,
they are packed and bottled in Italy using oil from
Spain or Greece.
"We wanted our product to be from Italy"
he said. Petrini said although a treaty between the
International Olive Oil Council and North American Olive
Oil Association requires country of origin labeling
on bottles, "it's not enough".
He said the small print, often hidden on the back of
the bottle, and misleading artwork showing an Italian
scene may confuse shoppers into thinking they are getting
an Italian oil.
As for its oils, Monini offers several, including a
line of regional DOP oils. The oils identify the sub
region and the olive varieties, which Petrini said is
a growing trend within the olive oil sector.
Flavored olive oil is another key category and one that
is growing rapidly, said Petrini. "We see this
space in the supermarket grow each month" he noted.
Interest is spurred in part by recipes that call for
flavored oils, he said. Most consumers don't want to
go through the trouble and expense of making their own,
even if the recipe call for it, so they seek them out
in the store. "We sell more and more unique flavor
every year" he said.
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