Article from OliveBiz by Gerri Nelligan
The freshness of our locally produced oil is one of its most important attributes, accounting for both the exceptional flavor and health benefits which Australian and New Zealand olive oils are renowned for. Increasingly, freshness is also becoming an important part of our EVOO marketing, guaranteeing customers the quality product they’re looking for.
Ensuring freshness of the purchased product has therefore been a hot topic for our industry of late, with solutions like Best Before and Harvest dates now commonplace on the packaging of many local EVOOs.
But what about the freshness of the oil AFTER purchase? We all know that correct storage is crucial to maintaining EVOO quality and we also know that, no matter how well it’s looked after, EVOO ain’t EVOO forever, and that the end of an old bottle of oil may be good only for the rubbish bin.
So how do we help consumers keep track of their oil use, and particularly how long a bottle has been open for, to ensure they’re always enjoying fresh, healthy extra virgin olive oil?
That was the question facing MarketingHuman founder David Martínez Roig and fellow entrepreneurs Javier Santos, Adrián Benlloch and Ramón Santos, when they created the apertureMARK concept. Launched in late 2013, apertureMARK is a new, patented packaging system offering a simple solution to the problem of remembering opening dates.
“Waste of perishable products is a big problem in developed countries, and especially when we talk about food. It’s incredible to think that approximately one third of produced food ends up as waste,” Martinez Roig said.
“apertureMARK is a new concept which aims to reduce the waste of perishable products like olive oil due to age spoilage, by reminding the end user of the date on which a perishable product was opened.”
How it works
“It is not easy to remember the exact day you opened a particular perishable product,” he said.
“So apertureMARK is designed to easily mark the opening date of any packaged perishable product without the use of any additional tools. Marking the opening date is easily possible at the time of opening by simply using the hands, utilising one of various modes of labelling such as scratchoff and/or double-layer marking.”
The apertureMARK system uses either two or three-element panels comprising dates (1-31), months (Jan-Dec) and, where applicable, years (generally a four-year range), on which end users mark the date of opening at the time it occurs. The panels can be incorporated into an existing label, feature as a smaller separate adhesive label onto either the bottle side, base or lid, or be attached as a swing or tie label to the bottle neck.
A perfect ‘fit’ for EVOO
Spanish-born Martinez Roig is naturally an EVOO aficionado himself, and says it’s an ideal ‘fit’ for olive oil. And he certainly knows the olive oil scene: Martinez Roig has more than a decade of EVOO marketing experience and is also the creator/presenter of the unique, industry-specific seminar “Neuromarketing applications in the olive oil sector”, an initiative supported by the International Olive Council on its last edition.
“Olive oil producers can benefit particularly from this system, because by using apertureMARK, consumers can consume their olive oil within the ideal time-frame to enjoy its maximum flavours and aromas,” he said.
“And if they did, by chance, find an oil was showing poor flavours, an opening date well in the past would show that it was not the product which was lacking in quality but that it was the result of a perishable product having been open for too long.
“Producers can also benefit via product differentiation in the current crowded olive oil market: using the apertureMARK adds a unique additional value to their olive oil, by providing consumers with the knowledge of when their olive oil is at its flavor some best.”
Martinez Roig said that marketing research and packaging development is commonly lacking in Spain, the world’s largest olive oil producer, therefore the company is focusing its efforts in EU during the early launch stage of the product. Several large firms in Spain and Portugal have already shown interest and are currently working with MarketingHuman on new packaging applications utilising the apertureMARK.
The product is, however, available to Australian and New Zealand producers via a contractual arrangement with apertureMARK for use of the registered patented system.
Martinez Roig is enthusiastic about working with olive oil producers to assist in ensuring that good olive oil is enjoyed at its absolute best.
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