Aluminum bottle offers new option for olive oil – and marketing

Image Source: California Olive Ranch

U.S. brand California Olive Ranch (COR) has added a lightweight and recyclable aluminum bottle to its line of olive and avocado oil packaging options. The aluminum bottle for edible oil is a market first and complements the previous glass and bag-in-box packaging options. COR’s example is a good illustration of how packaging can be used to serve more than just sustainability aspects. It also leads to more flexibility in pricing and product range differentiation, thus bringing new options for marketing.


California Olive Ranch has been active in the edible oils segment for over 20 years. Until recently, COR had used the glass bottle or bag-in-box packaging options common to the segment. Even here, the brand had set itself apart from competitors. This is because currently almost 80 percent of edible oils on the North American market are produced in packaging below 750 ml made of plastic, which also dominates larger containers.

In an effort to underpin its own sustainability efforts and at the same time diversify its product range, COR now also offers its olive and avocado oils in an aluminum bottle. COR emphasizes that this is a novelty on the liquid edible oils market.


Aluminum and sustainability

In principle, aluminum offers both advantages and disadvantages as a packaging material in the area of sustainability. However, the material must be viewed in a differentiated manner. The respective market and the production conditions also play a role.


  • Aluminum is perfect for recycling because there is virtually no downcycling. Unlike other materials, the metal can be kept in circulation virtually indefinitely.
  • Compared to glass, aluminum offers significant weight advantages, which has a positive effect on the transport balance.


  • In terms of energy input, aluminum initially brings disadvantages. Compared with plastic, for example, almost ten times as much energy is required for production – with corresponding consequences for the carbon footprint.


  • The sheer quantity of energy is only one aspect in the calculation. In COR’s case, for example, the energy comes from hydropower, which has a very positive effect on the climate balance.
  • The image of aluminum in North America is very positive in terms of sustainability. It is considered a “green metal. This is quite different in Europe, where aluminum is viewed rather critically from an environmental perspective.


Bottle, cap, label

  • The aluminum bottle holds 335 ml and is supplied by the manufacturer Trivium Packaging.
  • The bottle is provided with a label. This is not ideal for all recycling facilities in the USA. COR is aware of this and emphasizes that they are working on a solution that will make recycling more viable for all recycling centers in the future.
  • The closure continues to be made of polyethylene. According to COR, they had originally considered an aluminum cap for the bottle, but ultimately abandoned it in favor of consumer convenience.


The marketing secret

For marketing, it is basically positive when consumers are offered alternative systems and can thus choose and decide according to their understanding. However, the new California Olive Ranch bottle is above all a good example of a “marketing secret”: packaging is super effective when it comes to product range differentiation.

COR has recognized this well and implemented it. Quite deliberately, the brand also offers consumers a more affordable price for its best-selling line with the new format.

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