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The keys to export to the USA by María Reyes, Director of Vendor Management at KeHE Distributors

'In the USA there should be a verification process to ensure that what is placed on the shelves corresponds to what the label says'

"In the USA there should be a verification process to ensure that what is placed on the shelves corresponds to what the label says"

2018/10/01 - The Director of Vendor Management at KeHE Distributors, María Reyes, has made this statement in an exclusive interview with the organizers of the World Olive Oil Exhibition (WOOE), which will be held next 21 and 22 of March in Madrid.

Reyes, who will participate in the seventh edition of the WOOE as speaker and guest of honor, has analyzed the keys and future trends of the olive oil sector in the United States. For the past six years, Reyes has spent a lot of time looking for mentors and creating a network of experts from around the world within this sector, which, in turn, has helped train many of the American retailers she works for at KeHE Distributors.

The Director of Vendor Management of KeHE Distributors has regretted that in the United States, despite the fact that in the sales category olive oil has been increasing, per capita consumption is just one liter per person, which she attributed to "two fundamental problems".

The first one is that "the market is saturated with cheap oil, of low quality and bad taste" and, the second, is that "the consumer continues without being clear about what type of oil he should buy".

She also added that both problems are closely linked to the training of consumers and retailers. In her opinion, the retail buyer who decides what to put on store shelves "should take time -which he often does not- and be trained in this entire category."

In this sense, she has indicated that sales of quality olive oil have increased during the last four or five years, but also "there are many pressures due to other oils such as coconut and avocado, or even ghee." For this reason, she has stressed that both "training and a clear vision of how to present and market Premium olive oils are the main challenges" that exist nowadays.

Regarding the most promising markets for the importation of olive oil in the United States, she has highlighted that the northeast has always been the most powerful. The Southeast and the Midwest are also "strong" markets for olive oil, although the category product management works very well at the national level, she has pointed out.

María Reyes, finally, has shown her satisfaction for participating in the WOOE, in which she hopes "to discover many olive oils of the highest quality, as well as to meet the producers behind the brands".

World Olive Oil 2018
Consolidated as the great international meeting for the olive oil business, the next edition of the WOOE will return to Ifema (Madrid) on 21 and 22 March.

Around 200 olive oil companies met in 2017 with buyers, distributors and entrepreneurs from more than 30 different nationalities, figures that the organizers hope to overcome in the next edition.

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