Deoleo, the world’s largest olive-oil company, is now selling on Tmall.
The Madrid-based company said its new flagship store would bring Chinese consumers a selection of premium extra-virgin olive oil from its flagship Carbonell brand, the top-selling olive-oil maker in Spain.
The use of olive oil is on the rise in China. Per the latest figures from the International Olive Council, about 48,000 tons of olive oil were consumed in China in the 2017-2018 crop year, which spans from October to September, up from only 12,000 tons in 2008.
“Across China, restaurant chefs and home cooks alike are expanding the customary usage of extra-virgin olive oil by using it in hot cooking,” said Miguel de Jaime, chief commercial officer at Deoleo. “While extra-virgin oil is most often used in salads, or even consumed on its own, its qualities adapt extremely well to dishes when heat is applied.”
While most Chinese choose to cook with lard or plant-based cooking oils, such as soybean and rapeseed oils, the olive oil market has been expanding as rising spending power drives a lifestyle upgrade that includes buying healthier alternatives to fatty oils.
Olive oil is perceived as a “luxury product” among locals – as well as a popular gifting option, with over 60% of total olive-oil sales purchased as gifts – according to a Daxue Consulting report released last June.