EVOO Stories

Communicating Extra Virgin Olive oil

Written by Veronica Lavenia

Quality makes a difference especially in the agri-food sector. Consumers, after years of communication on the subject, are learning to select, preferring, where possible, organic products, of certified origin, with narrative labels bearing all the information necessary for a safe and quality purchase.
If today, therefore, quality is the conditio sine qua non, the narration of the product attracts the consumer. The agri-food companies on an industrial scale, with their impactful slogans, with digital contents that tell the product, involving the consumer in an always different way, yet with a recognizable style, confirm how much professional communication is fundamental to emerge from the ocean of opportunity and competition.


Photography tells through images. However, in food, the photo is the kit but not the soul. The era of “I seduce you with a photo”, without storytelling, is no longer enough for agri-food companies that have to bring out the quality, safety and peculiarities of their products.

EVOO and Wine: Communication in comparison

Over the decades, the international wine sector has invested heavily in the communication front. Over the years, the wine world has reached dizzying numbers.
Today, the average consumer talks about wine, holding talks on the subject even if he is not a regular consumer. Many, even just for a so-called trip out of town, have visited a winery at least once in their life. Many, even if they don’t drink, give away a few bottles a year. Almost no one buys without having at least read the labels. Almost all of them select having already a minimum knowledge of their own tastes and those of the recipient if the wine is bought for a gift. Nobody gives just any red wine. Nobody gives any white wine. It does not matter if a true expert would have to object to the choices of certain consumers or to their speeches from non-experts in the sector. It doesn’t matter because the real success is that many people talk about wine and not just the professionals. Wine is no longer just relegated to guides but to communication in the broadest sense (television; print media; digital). The communication of wine reaches everyone, although in recent years it too has been living off what was built in the past, with the risk of remaining anchored to a communication that is no longer contemporary.
If the wine sector is mature to understand the importance of communication (especially in the digital age), the situation in the olive sector is quite different. Here, communication is somewhat lacking when, on the contrary, it should be the main element to involve consumers. The olive sector imitates, with little effectiveness, the world of wine, obtaining the opposite effect: driving away the average consumer. Extra virgin olive oil is a food, as such it must be described in a different way from wine. Technicalities are boring and should be used to train professionals in the sector. The average consumer who, especially in current times, mainly buys online, often has no training on the subject and is not even interested in building one, simply because for him and many like him, “all oils are the same”. He usually buys the best bottle (the one he thinks is) at the supermarket. When it is time, he buys a few liters of olio nuovo, new oil, (a term that should be eliminated because it creates important problems in olive communication) from the “trusted farmer” (this expression should also disappear from the glossary of olive communication) and, rarely, during year, invests significant amounts to have a quality artisanal oil, perhaps in the wine shop or e-shop where it is used for the purchase of wines. and continuously, over time he would learn to appreciate artisanal EVOO like wine and to buy it more frequently.

Make the consumer’s heart beat faster!

Writing must show professionalism and, at the same time, must excite the consumer/reader.” Who, What and Why, are the three elements that characterize a company and its produtcts and are the characteristics that must emerge every time the company communicates with the recipient. Olive farms chase the prizes but the average consumer does not buy an award-winning EVOO as such, since she/he often does not know the basis behind the “artisanal EVOO”, the hard work and everything that justifies the final cost.

The average consumer is a user, like everyone else, of the digital world, the most democratic means of communication, which reaches many immediately. Digital is an opportunity, winning or ineffective, according to the way in which the “communicative writing” tool is used. It is not enough to tell the territory or the characteristics of the olive oil. The technicalities make consumers feel inadequate. The human component is what excites the reader. Behind every bottle of EVOO there is the story of people, their passion and sacrifices. Telling the story is the key to create that empathy necessary for the potential buyer to be attracted to the product.
Neuroscience confirms how our mind is more suited to recording stories than to memorize technical data or numbers, which are memorized in a way more effectively than other technical information. storytelling style is important because it makes even the most technical and sterile content captivating. Today, personalized storytelling allows the company to stand out from the crowd. Today, artisanal EVOOs have very high quality. Today, also and precisely for this reason, it is difficult for the consumer to choose and it is not easy for a company to emerge. The uniqueness not (only) of the product but of the whole company must therefore be the narrative thread of the olive-growing company communication.

Why is your EVOO different?

Answering this question with an incisive style makes the difference, especially in times when offer is it is very broad and risks confusing the recipient. The style must have a captivating narrative, a professional language, different for each communication channel. Not numbers but stories! Not technicalities but emotions that remain in the consumer’s mind. The recipient of the communication needs to get excited about it, and he has to get excited to the point of wanting not one but “that” bottle of EVOO. That bottle can be your company’s one. If you are able to excite.

DON’T MISS:

Extra virgin olive oil: what you need to know

What you still don’t know about Extra virgin olive oil

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About the author

Veronica Lavenia

PhD (former University academic).
Italian based writer and magazine contributor.
Authors of six books (five cookbooks), some of her works have appeared in the most popular International food magazine, as "Vegetarian Living"; "Veggie Magazine"; "Lifestyle FOOD"; "Australian Good Food & Travel Guide; "Chickpea"; "Gluten free Heaven";" TML", among others.
EVOO Communicator.
Founder of #evoostories and #storiedievo at @veronicalavenia_
Columnist for "The Wolf Post ("EVOO Stories; Food & Wellness; books reviews).