Promotional campaign for high quality European extra virgin olive oil

Call for tenders to select the implementing body for the Us market. The promotion campaign is carried out by QvExtra! and CEQ Italia which are, respectively, a Spanish and an Italian olive oil producers’ association. The promotional campaign aims to foster market penetration of European Extra Virgin olive oils in both target countries

Olio Officina

Promotional campaign for high quality European extra virgin olive oil

CEQ Italia is in charge of coordinating a three year promotional campaign for extra virgin olive oil in the US and Japan. The campaign, started on 1th January 2017 was approved and funded by the European Union, under Reg. UE 1144/2014, Reg. UE 2015/1829 and Reg. UE 2015/1831.
The first year of the campaign has been already implemented.

The promotion campaign is carried out by QvExtra! and CEQ Italia which are, respectively, a Spanish and an Italian olive oil producers’ association.

The promotional campaign aims to foster market penetration of European Extra Virgin olive oils in both target countries.

The proposal shall consist of a well-structured, coherent marketing strategy including communication and training activities tailored to the Us market for the second and third year of the promotional campaign, according to the brief attached hereto.

On the basis of the proposed spending plan you are therefore requested to formulate the best technical and organizational application and economic offer abiding by the aims indicated in the brief.

The proposals should be sent to the following email address no later than 05/18/2018, 05:00 pm (CET):

As soon as we receive the proposal, we will send you an email to confirm receipt.

For any further information or clarification, please do not hesitate to contact:, addressing your queries to the selection panel.

Campaign to promote high-quality European extra virgin olive oil in the US

Duration of the campaign: 36 months, January 2017 – December 2019

Start of field activities in the second year: May 2018



Consortium to Guarantee Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil (CEQ Italia)

The Consortium to Guarantee Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil (CEQ Italia)was set up in 2001 to promote the culture of quality extra virgin olive oil and improve knowledge. The 20 members agree to respect rigorous procedures during production, which are more restrictive than those required by national and European legislation.

The mission of the Consortium is:

1. to promote the culture of extra virgin olive oil and increase consumer awareness; to protect and guarantee quality by supporting research programmes, quality improvement and correct information;

2. to promote the quality all along the production chain, integrating the know-how of the experts involved in the process, because quality can only be guaranteed where there is close cooperation between producers, bottlers, distributors and retailers;

3. to ensure high quality products by respecting rigorous agricultural practices, correct physical, chemical and organoleptic parameters, achieving standards that are stricter than those currently in force, together with other parameters not yet considered in European legislation.


QvExtra! is a private non-profit organization whose aim is to promote competitiveness among producers of extra virgin olive oil, thus fostering a quality culture among its members and making this known to the consumer; its 44 member companies are all producers of extra virgin olive oil.

QvExtra! olive oils are top of the range, rich, fruity, tangy and of exceptional quality. QvExtra! was founded in early 2013 as a result of the work of 15 Spanish producers who were convinced of the need to promote extra virgin olive oil on both a national and international level.

QvExtra! awards an international seal of quality extra virgin olive oil, which meets the chemical and sensory requirements established by the association. Each of the estates that adhere to the organization produces top-quality extra virgin olive oils following meticulous quality standards: picking olives at optimum maturity, cold extraction (Temperature

What we request from the implementing body (agency)

Presentation of the agency’s credentials, focusing on:

– knowledge of US olive oil market;

– experience of working in the US food market;

– successful food campaigns and their results in terms of sales growth;

– financial and technical ability;

– no bankruptcy processes underway;

– agency offices in the US.

The development of a creative strategy for the campaign on the promotion of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, taking into consideration the distinctive competencies of Ceq Italia andQVExtra!, as a result of their commitment to the promotion of quality extra virgin olive oil.

The proposed strategy

The activities should focus on increasing awareness of the nutritional, sensory and health benefits of extra virgin olive oils of the highest quality, in order to increase the value perceived by the final consumer.

In particular, the direct focus of the program will be the intermediary operators who educate the final consumer, like restaurant managers and Ho.Re.Ca staff, importers, distributors, customer managers in gourmet stores, chefs and trainee chefs, doctors and nutritionists. Within the program, these target figures are considered the new ambassadors for high quality extra virgin olive oil, they must be able to transfer their knowledge and explain to the people they meet the importance of the positive nutritional characteristics as well as the careful selection, use and conservation of the product in question.

The messages, adapted in terms of language according to the targets, will focus on the following concepts:

1- Extra virgin olive oil is the juice of a fruit and as such has to preserve a variety of scents and flavors that come from the different varieties of olive. The perfumes should be obvious from simply smelling the product once opened and the flavors should be appreciated in conjunction with the different dishes;

2- the bouquet of fragrances and the final consumer’s appreciation of the product depends on the quality of the production process and storage; all operators are responsible for ensuring its integrity until it reaches the final consumer;

3- a high quality extra virgin olive oil has many nutritional properties and is valuable for a balanced diet though all the different stages of life. Its health-giving properties are a good reason to introduce it into everyone’s diet and its properties as a dressing in terms of taste reduce the quantity consumed on a daily basis compared to other fats;

4- when manufacturers and operators agree to respect very strict rules and requirements for quality and undergo stringent controls by an independent body, the consumer and sector operators have significant guarantees that the extra virgin olive oil is of a high standard.

However, the Agency may propose various tools and solutions, based on its assessment of effectiveness, to reach potential consumers of extra virgin olive oil.

Main Targets

– opinion makers;

– journalists;

– nutritionists;

– chefs;

– cookery students;

– medical operators;

– consumers between 30 and 50 years, having a tendency for innovation and creative cooking;

– elderly consumers.

Actions to develop

– Training courses for cookery schools;

– stakeholder dinners;

– in-store promotion and training;

– stands at trade fairs;

– public relations activities.

Presentation of the brands during the activities

The presentation of the brands will respect the requirements foreseen in Reg.1831/2015 (art. 5, 6,7 8), attached to the letter.


At the end of each activity the agency should kindly send to the consortium a detailed report with the description of the activity implemented and photos.

Descriptions of the activities

Training courses for cookery schools

Short description of the activity:3 training courses per year, 2/3 days each course, in 3 different American cities for at least 90 future chefs.

The courses should be organized in the most important cookery schools, such as the Culinary Institute of America, the Kendall College of Culinary Arts, the Johnson & Wales University, the French Culinary Institute (FCI/ICC).

Other schools could be suggested by the agency if they are considered a better choice.

The teachers (chefs, nutritionists, experts on Italian and Spanish farms) should create practical/theoretical sessions on the use of extra virgin olive oil in the kitchen, considering the oil as an ingredient in the preparation of the dish and using it to season a finished dish.

Students will be encouraged to produce and create a recipewhich enhances the use of extra virgin olive oil in the context of the local culinary tradition, by awarding a prize to the best fusion recipe.

The winning recipe will be published and disseminated using the main web channels dedicated to the restaurant industry.

Course material of at least 20 pages will be prepared in English and will be sent to them by e-mail at the beginning of the course.

Minimum deliverables for each year:

– 90 students;

– 3 culinary schools;

– 3 cities;

– 30 recipes created by the students;

– brochure of at least 20 pages.

Aim: to enhance the future chefs’ knowledge on the sensorial and nutritional characteristics of high-quality extra virgin olive oil and how to use them in the kitchen.

Timetable: within November of each year.


Stakeholder dinner

Short description of the activity:2 dinners per year in 2 different cities for at least 30 persons each dinner, selected among journalists collaborating with diet and health magazines, sector operators, doctors, nutritionists and opinion makers, at chosen locations including restaurants and/or suitably equipped facilities.

Possible locations suggested for the organization of the dinners are The Bartolotta Restaurant, Milwaukee (Chicago), Eataly Chicago or New York, Gibson Restaurant group, Chicago; Black Salt Washington.

Preference will be given to a location where there are open kitchens, on the basis of the suggestions made by the agency.

In particular, journalists will be encouraged to write at least one half-page article on the event. Among the magazines and online journals that could be invited, the following are suggested:

Food&Nutrition magazine, Better Nutrition, Taste of Home, Cooking Light, Every Day with Rachel Ray, Food &Wine Magazine.

Other newspapers/magazines to be invited will be selected by the company that will be in charge of PR activities.

During the dinner each participant will receive promotional material on the campaign: tri-fold flyers and a pen drives/extra virgin olive oil samples.

The experts that will take part in the dinner are the same as for the training courses.

Minimum deliverables for each year:

– 2 dinners;

– 2 cities;

– 60 participants;

– 2 articles produced by the invited journalists;

60 flyer.

Aim: to publicize and increase knowledge on extra virgin olive oils and their uses in the kitchen among sector operators, doctors and journalists, who in turn will transmit this awareness to readers, clients and final consumers.

Timetable: the activity should be held at the same time and in the same cities of the training courses for cooking schools, so as to optimize travel arrangements for the Italian and Spanish teachers and to create synergy between the two activities.

Instore promotion and training

Short description of the activity:10 tasting sessions and product presentations/training per year in 10 stores in 5 days in 3 cities in local chains selected by the agency and approved by the beneficiaries. If the store has a cooking area short practical demonstration will be possible.

The instore promotion should involve at least 100 peopleper year through customers that are more alert and sensitive to quality nutrition, those curious to explore new products, as well as the more affluent socio-professional categories.

The activity should include 5 training briefs with operators. The expert will have the task of managing a direct training session for staff of the store, to provide technical and practical information to improve display and storage of the extra virgin olive oils and to answer any questions made by the staff who manage these products.

As it is described upon, the instore promotion is composed by two activities:

1. training and testing sessions for consumers;

2. training and testing session for stores’ staff.

If it is approved an amendment by UE regarding the implementation of more activity concerning training and testing session for stores’ staff than for consumers, the implementing body should accept the change. The budget will remain the same.

Minimum deliverables:

– 10 instore promotion;

– 3 cities;

– 100 participant to instore promotion;

– 5 training briefs with operators;

– 10 participant to the training brief.

Aim: to educate the consumers and the staff on how to store and use extra virgin olive oil.

Timetable:within November of each year. It would be useful organize them when there aren’t other events such as trade fairs, so that operators are not busy and can participate.


Stand at trade fair

Short description of the activity:1 trade fair in an America city during the 2019

The participation in the Summer Fancy Food event in New York is envisaged.

The exhibition area will be 40 square meters in size and will be suitably arranged so as to ensure it has an institutional appearance, adequately representing extra virgin quality olive while also attracting the interest of visitors, offering maximum visibility for the proper distribution of the informative material realized within the program.

The informative material will include:

– 300 tri-fold flyers on the promotional campaign;

– 300 brochures of at least 20 pages on the main issues included in the campaign and on the nutritional/health giving properties of high quality extra virgin olive oils;

– 200 phone covers and 200 backpacks-shopping bags with the campaign logo and a slogan for the promotion of high quality extra virgin olive oils, for example: “Keep calm & taste high quality extra virgin olive oil”

In order to give more visibility to the Consortium’s promotional activity a cooking show and/or oil tasting will be organized in a hall at the trade fair or at the trade fair’s Academy if there is one.

Minimum deliverables:

– 1 trade fair;

– 40 square meters in size;

– 1 cooking show or oil tasting

– 600 copies of informative material;

– 50 news contact for follow up activities;

– 400 gadgets created.

Aim:Increase knowledge on the use of extra virgin olive oil and on its nutritional and health-giving properties through one cooking show/tasting session and the distribution of informative materials.

Timetable:January – December 2019. Although the participation at the fair is expected on 2019, due to the exhibitors turnout at the fair, the implementing body should reserve the exhibition area on the 2018, as soon as possible after the signature of the contract with the beneficiaries.


PR activity

Short description of the activity:production of 3 press reviews per yearconcerning the follow-up meetings of the initiatives carried out (exhibitions, shows and fairs, training courses and specific targeted dinners).

Managements of the contacts with the press world concerned with the initiatives in order to obtaining 10 press articlesper year in specialized magazines, like Food&Nutrition magazine, Better Nutrition, taste of home, Cooking light, Every day with Rachel Ray, Food &Wine Magazine.

Forwarding material, pamphlets and brochures distributed to the public to 500 contacts at least and to social networks as well.

Mailing the invitations to events to 300 contactsat least as well as to the social networks.

All the activities should be in constant collaboration with the press and the journalists involved.

Other solutions could be evaluated once the activity has started.

Minimum deliverables:

– 3 press reviews;

– 10 press articles;

– mailing list with 300 contacts

– 90 mentions of promotions events in blogs/magazines/social, network, etc.

Aim: to make the program targets aware, such as food and cookery magazine journalists, health professionals, medical doctors and nutritionists as well as opinion makers, of the main themes of the promotional campaign attracting their interest, stimulating their curiosity, driving them to participate in the many events organized.

Timetable: the PR activity will mainly be carried out during the period relative to the events.

Budget: (personnel costs of the agency staff or external PR experts)

What the agency can change with respect to the description of the activities:

– locations for the events, explaining the reason why they could be better than the locations proposed by the consortia;

– budget relative to the events, without exceeding the total budget that can be allocated to the activity in question while also attempting to reduce overall costs;

– the minimum quantitative and qualitative requirements can be increased.

The agency can also:

– put forward an innovative, detailed communications strategy, which is coherent with all the events in program;

– improve the financial bid and/or the quality and number of services.

What is not permitted with respect to the description of the activities:

– reduce the number and length of the events that are envisaged;

– reduce the minimum quantitative and qualitative requirements;

– exceed the total allocated budget.

Scoring sheet to select the agency

The scoring sheet that will be used by the Consortium to select the implementing agency will consider the following criteria:

The sum of the scores for the individual parameters will determine the position in the ranking of the various project proposals.

Obligation to avoid a conflict of interests

A potential conflict of interests with Ceq Italia or QVExtra! will compromise the selection of the agency.

The agency has to declare, under its own responsibility, that it does not have bankruptcy processes underway.

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