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New Bertolli olive oil packaging rooted in tradition

New Bertolli olive oil packaging rooted in tradition
Bertolli's new-look olive oil packaging with reshaped PET bottles involves 21 different products globally.

The world’s largest olive oil brand launches its largest packaging redesign ever in a new look that pays homage to its Italian heritage and signals a 100% conversion to PET bottles.

Think of olive oil and the sun-drenched Mediterranean region may come to mind. Now consider Bertolli olive oil and Italy comes into sharper focus, which is also the strategy behind the brand’s new packaging transformation that connects the present with a past that dates to 1865.

That’s when a small shop in Lucca, Italy, owned by Francesco Bertolli and his wife, Caterina, began production of olive oil that would soon become a staple throughout homes in Tuscany and eventually worldwide.

Bertolli has a storied history as a packaging pioneer. In the early 1950s, when olive oil was packaged in metal cans and drums, it began using glass bottles. The company was the first to identify on the label the important health benefits of olive oil for consumers. Bertolli was also the first to introduce different types and flavors of olive oil for the American market.

In 2018 the launch of new packaging represents the next step for the world’s number one olive oil brand to fuel further growth in the U.S. market and elsewhere. The repackaging includes a 100% conversion to PET plastic bottles from a plastic and glass mix that’s accompanied by a label graphics. The packaging is an on-shelf spokesperson representing Bertolli’s passion and continued commitment to the market by brand owner Deoleo S.A. (Madrid, Spain), the global leader in bottled olive oil sales.

Developed to bring the company’s heritage and quality craftsmanship to life in a modern yet authentic way, this newly refined visual identity celebrates the product’s birthplace in both shape and sentiment.

Launched April 3, the new packaging will be seen across the entire Bertolli bottled olive oil portfolio of six product lines totaling 21 different stock-keeping units. Bottle sizes range from 200mL to 3L and sizes in between.

One element left untouched in the redesign is the closure, according to Glenn Hartman, CEO, Deoleo North America (Dallas), who responds to Packaging Digest’s questions.

How would you describe the old shape and look? To what degree has that been changed?

Hartman: Wanting to highlight Deoleo’s unique history more visually, the company tapped Stranger and Stranger to redesign the Bertolli olive oil bottle globally. While the look and shape of the old bottle offered consumers more of a traditional take on olive oil, we are proud to offer a new design that celebrates our legacy.

The new bottle’s shape is a nod to our heritage—the oval profile replicates that of the heart of Lucca, the birthplace of Bertolli olive oil, and a city well-known for its round design created by fortifications. With this bold choice, consumers will be able to more easily identify our products on the shelf.

This new bottle’s imagery and typography serve to remind consumers of Bertolli’s pioneering past. The picture of a ship, for example, is a nod to our role as the first brand to export olive oil to America. Strategic choices in typography evoke quality, authenticity and Italian heritage for the brand. Among these changes, however, Bertolli’s logo and the bottle’s dark color remain the same to ensure the quality of the product and protection against light.

About how long was this in development? What was the biggest challenge during that time?

Hartman: The redesign was one the organization’s highest priorities for nearly 18 months. As a global brand, we wanted to not only harmonize the design across the entire world but also be locally relevant. Fortunately, this provided an opportunity for close collaboration across the entire enterprise.

What are your expectations for the new bottle? How will the brand know that the new design is performing as expected?

Hartman: This is the biggest redesign in the brand’s history so our expectations are high. We will track volume impact once the design is in full distribution. We are highly optimistic that the bottle will perform well as our strong test results suggest that we have a real winner. As the world’s leading olive oil brand, we’re confident consumers will appreciate these design changes while their love for our premium olive oil blends remains as strong as ever. Our goal with this redesign is to pay tribute to Bertolli’s Italian roots and remind consumers of our passion for and commitment to quality olive oil.

What’s the takeaway that you’d like to leave us with?

Hartman: The new packaging was developed to bring Bertolli Olive Oil’s heritage and quality craftsmanship to life in a modern yet authentic way, setting the foundation for “The Recipe is Simple” campaign. This refined visual identity celebrates the brand’s home of Lucca, Italy, in both shape and sentiment.

The sleek and sophisticated imagery, as well as simple messaging on the new bottle illustrate the brand’s artisanal pedigree, the legacy of Francesco Bertolli and our commitment to quality.


Ecommerce challenges, new bioplastic technologies, a hands-on upcycling activity and more are part of the new Packaging Education Hub, a free 3-day program of packaging  presentations and demos at EastPack 2018 (June 12-14; New York City).


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