Posted: 30/04/2014

New UK sales drive for high-end Provençal oils

Five premium olive oil brands from the south-east of France have begun a trade marketing campaign designed to switch UK chefs and speciality retailers on to the region’s Protected Designation of Origin oils.

Olive oil Castelines gamm
Moulin Castelas

The companies – Moulin Castelas, Moulin Cornille, La Maison Codefa, La Lieutenante and Vignolis – have come together under the banner ‘Olivence: The Provence Olive Oil Society’ in a promotion backed by French olive and oil producers’ association AFIDOL.

It was launched last month at a tasting event at Provençal restaurant Cigalon in London, attended by food hall buyers, distributors, food writers and chefs.

“Apart from Germany, the UK is the largest consumer market in Europe, and olive oil consumption has quadrupled here in 20 years,” said AFIDOL’s Alexandra Paris, “so we feel there’s a market for high-end products that reflect the south of France and all the values Provençal products carry.”

Olive Oil Domaine de la Lieutenante
La Lieutenante

Prior to the launch, only one Olivence member, Moulin Castelas, had won listings in UK speciality food shops, with distribution into Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols, Partridges and other top London shops via The Oil Merchant. Since the event, all five have secured distribution in the South East but most were still looking for deals covering the rest of the UK.

Olive oil Codefa Olisense

Around 100 olive varieties are grown across the region, which also claims to produce some the world’s rarest oils. The oils are pitched at around £12-13.50 for 250ml.

Philippa Cameron of sales & marketing agency EOC International has been appointed to represent Olivence in the UK over the next year.

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