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Letting ‘liquid gold’ shine: why high-quality olive oil belongs in glass

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Letting ‘liquid gold’ shine: why high-quality olive oil belongs in glass

The foundation of a healthy Mediterranean diet, olive oil is an iconic European product that’s become a daily staple all around the world. The quality of olive oil comes straight from the olive tree, with over 1,000 olives going into each bottle of ‘liquid gold’ – and the same high quality must be maintained during storage and packaging. That’s where glass comes in.

Did you know the EU is the largest producer and consumer of olive oil  in the world? With olive groves stretching across the continent, from Greece to Portugal, Cyprus to Slovenia, olive oil forms not just a core part of the local cuisine, but of local circular economies. And as a typical European product that’s locally grown, picked, made and packaged, it’s not surprising that both glass and olive oil have have left a lasting mark on Europe’s cultural heritage – making glass the perfect partner to continue the story of olive oil, well into the future.  

Why is olive oil stored in glass bottles? 

It’s not just about looking good! An inert material made from natural ingredients, glass forms a complete barrier to any other chemicals or oxygen interacting with the product. Amber and green glass, in particular, protect oil from UV exposure and prevent rancidity, with a University of Piedmonte study (Marengo, 2017) showing that green UVAG glass preserves olive oil better than tin, PET plastic and bag-in-box containers. All of this means that glass helps to preserve the olive oil’s taste and quality, keeping its strength, aroma, and flavour intact.

What’s more, consumers also prefer their olive oil in glass. A 2020 survey carried out by Friends of Glass found that over 1 in 2 European consumers prefer to buy oil in glass.  As many as 9 in 10 consumers who cut back on their plastic purchases chose a glass alternative for buying oil, while over half (56%) see glass to be the packaging material that best prevents food contamination and preserves your health.

With consumers looking for quality and taste above all else, glass packaging helps to showcase the quality of the olive oil without distractions. Why?

  • Transparency – Glass’ natural appearance allows brand identity to shine.  
  • Appearance & function – Glass comes in all shapes, sizes and colours, providing oil containers perfectly adapted for preventing rapid degradation.  
  • Premium design – Glass denotes luxury and helps olive oils stand out on shelves as a premium product. 
  • Innovation and creativity – Glass designs can evoke oil’s Mediterranean origins, through luxurious ‘perfume-style’ bottles and innovative internal embossing.  

How can glass help the story of olive oil to shine?  

Olive oil brands can count on premium glassware designs to add an extra touch of prestige and authenticity to their products. As producers Oleificio Coppini Angelo put it: 

“When it comes to protecting olive oil, packaging is fundamental. Keeping the taste and sensory characteristics of the product is one of our objectives – and that thanks to the use of skilfully-created glass bottles, we reach with pride.

Coppini-branded bottles make this shift more effective, with the distinctive sign of the embossed logo and the shape of the bottle making us more interesting on supermarket shelves. The composition of the glass (made of 70% recycled glass and totally recyclable in turn) provides added value, at a time where respect for the environment and awareness of ‘green themes’ are shared.”

Throughout history, glass containers have always played a key role in promoting olive oil production and consumption. Olive oil was considered a precious trading commodity, while glass has always denoted luxury, premium value, and protection. With home cooking and healthy living aspirations on the rise and consumers investing in preserved goods with a longer shelf life, the association between glass and olive oil looks set to continue.

That’s why brands looking to connect with consumers in search of sustainable agri-food products should be setting their sights on glass – and why high-quality olive oil belongs in glass packaging. 

Learn more about what makes high-quality extra virgin olive oil and glass packaging the perfect match in our customer toolkit 

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