Specialty Food Magazine

JAN-FEB 2012

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/55305

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Page 92 of 159

CATEGORY SPOTLIGHT Tunisian olive groves Emerging Olive Oils from North Africa Tunisia and Morocco are reinventing their olive oil businesses from bulk exports to new branded products, enlivening a mature category along the way. Learn more about their offerings—and discover three more oil-producing countries to watch from the Middle East region. BY SUSAN SEGREST, NICOLE POTENZA DENIS AND EVA MESZAROS TUNISIA: TRANSFORMING AN ESTABLISHED OLIVE OIL BUSINESS Shifting from a recognized bulk oil operation to a valuable branded, bottled business is a work in progress but this country has taken on the challenge. I f you've been reading the international press for much of the last year, you have seen Tunisia and its Jasmine Revolution lauded as being the birthplace of the Arab Spring. As The New York Times reported, "a sudden and explosive wave of street protests ousted the authoritarian president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who had ruled with an iron hand for 23 years." This revolt set off a chain reaction throughout the region, sparking dramatic changes in Egypt, Libya and other Arab countries. One of the first events Tunisian food producers participated in after the revolution was the Winter Fancy Food Show in January 2011 in San Francisco. Lemia Thabet, general manager of the Tunisian Packaging Technical Center, which has been tasked by the Ministry of Industry and Technology to promote Tunisian bottled olive oil to the world, says that immediately she saw the change in how Americans viewed Tunisia. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 91

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