“Extra-virgin” label becomes extra controversial in olive oil industry

As an increasing number of Americans are willing to pay a little more for premium food products, a rise in the industry has coincided with this. While this has mostly been on the side of spirits, wines and craft beers, olive oil is beginning to increase in popularity as well.

According to NPR, while the olive oil industry may be firmly established in European countries such as Italy, Spain and Greece, many American states with similar climates are beginning to join this burgeoning market.

For example, olive oil production in California and Texas has skyrocketed in recent years. The California Olive Ranch has actually grown by tenfold within the past six years as the company now produces over 2 million gallons of olive oil each year.

Although the industry is clearly gaining attention stateside, this isn't without its detractors. With more eyes being put on olive oil, many are scrutinizing the quality of the product more critically. With the term "extra-virgin" taking center stage in this food label, some experts and authorities are finding that not every olive oil labeled as such fits the requirements.

"Major recent surveys of olive oil quality suggest that two-third of olive oil currently sold as 'extra virgin' in America is mislabeled," Tom Mueller, an author and expert on the subject, told NPR. "They fail to meet the major legal definitions of the extra-virgin grade."

Regardless of whether a company produces extra-virgin olive oil or not, with the business booming in the United States, companies may need to ramp up their marketing tactics in order to effectively compete. By investing in a Primera LX900 color label printer, olive oil producers can not only make labels that comply with regulations, but also create a unique brand against all the competitors.

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