Filippo Berio Fills Demand for Quality, Plant-Based, Eco-Friendly Food
New products reflect long tradition of sustainability
A drone used to test different precision agriculture techniques at the open-air lab located on the Villa Filippo Berio grove in Tuscany, Italy
Today’s consumers are demanding more accountability of brands and want their purchases to reflect their values. For many, selecting sustainable products is one way to contribute to a healthier planet. Others are modifying their diets to incorporate more plant-based foods. Given recent inflationary patterns, grocery brands will still need to demonstrate clear alignment with such consumer demands, all while remaining affordable. It’s a balance that Filippo Berio has been preparing for since its inception in 1867.
Shoppers foster change with their wallets
A recent survey from McKinsey & Company found that 76% of consumers buy or boycott brands based on values. In other words, shoppers are paying attention to how companies operate. In the grocery stores, they want to know what goes into their food, how it is produced and how the environment is impacted.
Savvy shoppers understand best practices come at a cost, and nearly one-thirdplan to spend more on environmentally friendly products, including those free from artificial ingredients or environmentally hazardous ingredients or materials. Packaging is a consideration, and the 2021 Global Buying Green Report found that 54% of consumers evaluate its sustainability before buying. Shoppers are also taking a more sustainable approach to their diets, as indicated by steady growth of the plant-based foods market, up 6.2% in 2021 in the U.S. Looking forward, a Bloomberg Intelligence report estimates that plant-based foods could compose 7.7% of the global protein market by 2030.
Values reflect a tradition, not a moment
While many brands may jump on the latest bandwagon and tout new eco-conscious measures, only a select few have the long tradition of uncompromising quality, transparency and sustainability that shoppers crave. Filippo Berio is among them and always stays one step ahead. The company has invested more than 155 years in producing high-quality olive oil and related products, adhering to a longstanding commitment to exceptional standards and decision-making that ensures coexisting in harmony with the source of its offerings: the natural environment.
“Filippo Berio maintains a well-documented commitment to environmentally friendly practices. Along with ensuring the sustainability of our business, Filippo Berio’s initiatives have potential to impact the wider olive oil industry,” said Dusan Kaljevic, Filippo Berio USA’s deputy CEO. “For instance, we utilize our location in Italy, which is home to the most olive cultivars in the world, to promote olive biodiversity. Here, we cultivate multiple productive varieties, including ancient and rarely used types, to learn which may weather the extremes and the pathogens of today. Already, 18 underutilized varieties have shown high resilience.”
In addition to seeking olive varieties for the future, Filippo Berio collaborates with the National Research Council of Italy’s Life Resilience project in research that benefits the broader olive oil industry. The brand is involved in projects that monitor soil and test natural fertilizers to reduce water stress, such as during drought, and to achieve greater soil management efficiency. It also participates in the study of pests and disease, which can ravage orchards.
Further, Filippo Berio operates an open-air lab at Villa Filippo Berio Grove to test different precision agriculture techniques. Ecosystem adjustments are studied for their impact on trees, soil and air, and results inform and refine broader environmentally friendly cultivation methods in use.
Filippo Berio’s recently released eco-conscious olive oil rPET packaging enables the brand to reduce its overall energy output and plastic waste
Sustainable from the source to the shelf
In 2022, after considerable research, Filippo Berio introduced new eco-conscious olive oil packaging. The bottles, made of 50% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET), were the first to be introduced among leading companies in the U.S. olive oil category. They use less energy to produce than virgin PET bottles, helping to minimize plastic waste and reduce demand for new petrochemical resource extraction.
Additionally, Filippo Berio is bringing plant-based options to grocers’ shelves, recently introducing two vegan pestos. The company infuses its expanded pesto lineup with the same high quality and uncompromising taste found in its traditional products, while eliminating any animal-derived ingredients.
The brand recently launched its SUSTAINABLE SELECT extra virgin olive oil collection, sourced from responsibly harvested olives and sustainably nurtured groves. A fully traceable and certified process is integrated, and consumers can trace the origins of the olive oil by scanning a bottle’s QR code or using Filippo Berio’s online traceability tool. This feature assures consumers that the brand has truly committed to sourcing olives from groves certified for their integrated farming methods.
"Sustainability is a multifaceted issue, and for olive oil companies, it extends far beyond what happens in our orchards,” said Kaljevic. “Filippo Berio is leading the way, folding sustainability into every step, from cultivation to packaging to recipe creation. With our products on the shelves, grocers can participate in the sustainability movement and foster loyalty among shoppers seeking sustainable and accessible products while benefiting the greater good.”