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Olive Oils, Vinegars Still Tops In Shelf-Stable

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Private Label, Sampling Bring Added Opportunities For Growth

Olive oil and vinegar products are continuing to drive the shelf-stable food business for the gourmet housewares industry. More gourmet insiders are adding refill programs or stocking several different varieties of the goods in order to offer customers a reason to visit the store more frequently. We spoke to several gourmet housewares retailers that have offered up best practices to those looking to find success with this segment.

Start Small

You don’t need to have a lot of space to dedicate to olive oil and vinegar, especially if you’re not sure it will resonate with your customers. Minot, ND-based Gourmet Chef started a refill program several years ago.

“It keeps people coming back into the store because they need to come back in to refill their olive oil or vinegar,” said Denise Lindbo, owner, Gourmet Chef.

Private Label

Dave and Mary Weldy, owners of Culinary Apple in Chelan, WA, have a robust, private-label olive oil and vinegar program that Dave Weldy said was gaining them noticeable repeat business.

“The private-label program definitely helps us because they can’t find us anywhere else,” he said. “So, people end up calling the store or ordering through the website.”

Sample, Sample, Sample

Olive oil and vinegars are products that should be sampled gourmet insiders said. Whether out on a counter, on a display or in cooking classes, the combination of the experience and the ability to try before they buy appeal to customers.


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