Elaiologists, the New Coaches (vol.5): Marino Uceda

Marino Uceda: 'Along with a solid formation, one of the fundamental keys is the passion that we put into developing an extraordinary product such as EVOO'

Marino Uceda: "Along with a solid formation, one of the fundamental keys is the passion that we put into developing an extraordinary product such as EVOO"

2018/12/06 - We follow with this newsletter, a journey through the most important coaches and elaiologists in the world. The commitment to quality in the production of extra virgin olive oils seems unstoppable. Quality in all phases of the process, from the field to the table. We know the theory, the protocol, but what are the keys to developing a High-end EVOO? The Agricultural Engineer, researcher and eliaologist Marino Uceda, offers us his vision in the fifth release of this series.

The counselor of IADA Ingenieros, a company from Jaén devoted to consulting and agronomic advice in agri-food industries, considers that "one of the fundamental keys -in addition to the essential, a solid formation- is the passion we put into developing an extraordinary product. This takes shape both in the agronomic operations, essential and often unknown, and in the olive oil production, regulating the process parameters depending on the variety, the production of the olive grove and the influence of the climatology, variable each year. The most important secret, if you can call it so, is to work in a personalized way. Each client establishes his own model, within excellence. We, as consultants, help him to define it and, therefore, to elaborate it".

Uceda points out that "it is not easy to determine the keys to success, since many factors intervene. However, I think that looking for a unique product, which identifies with the brand, can undoubtedly be one of them. Sometimes it is necessary to modify, applying agronomic and elaboration techniques, the olfactory-gustatory relation of the oils to look for complexity, harmony and balance in high-end EVOOs".

"On the other hand," he explains, "an attractive and, at the same time, different packaging is essential to identify the brand and, therefore, the specific organoleptic sensations that the customer expects to find. There are a series of techniques so that the oil produced goes to the market in optimal conditions, preserving the best quality and offering a constancy in the sensory attributes. One of them, without a doubt, is to pack these types of oils on demand. This requires adequate maintenance of the oils in the cellar, from the size of the deposit to the conditions of storage, in order to maintain its freshness throughout the campaign."

The present
Currently, there is a certain segment of consumers with purchasing power, lovers of gastronomy, cults and demanding. A new consumer, more mature and sophisticated, that demands new flavors and varieties, formats, a story to tell behind the brand or the product... How can we satisfy him? Marino Uceda points out that "as it happens in the world of wine, a mirror where we have to look at ourselves, we have to look for personality in Premium extra virgins. At the same time, it is also necessary to offer a range of EVOOs that can meet the different sensitivities of consumers. Fortunately, we have a huge list of varieties that allow us to obtain high-end oils with a great symphony of sensory nuances that allow us to satisfy any demand."

"In addition, it is very convenient to create a story linked to the brand, based on the varieties used, the way of cultivation, the family experience or any circumstance that allows introducing a culture that is essential for differentiation and thus serve the most sophisticated consumer that seeks exclusivity," he adds.

Singularity, segmentation and quality
On the other hand, Marino Uceda insists on the aspect of singularity. "In my opinion, the high-end extra virgin olive oil of the future should focus on singularity, given that the consumer of this type of oil is increasing his knowledge and is more demanding. To create a culture of consumption and pairing, to explain the enormous difficulty and scarcity involved in producing a high-end EVOO, should help to promote the product."

Speaking of segmentation, Uceda states that "we must prestige and value the other types of olive oils, in order to more clearly segment the market. To elaborate extra virgins of superior quality, without the demands of the high-end juices, and to increase the quality of the rest of olive oils will allow us -with information and by training our consumers- to introduce the necessity of a differentiated use of the different types of oils. It is essential to create among all -consultants, producers, prescribers, distributors and consumers, without forgetting the media- a growing culture of extra virgin olive oils that allows us a differentiated use of this true jewel of nature and the fundamental basis of the Mediterranean Diet".

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