O Olive Oil, the first company in North America to crush organic citrus with California olives producing a signature line of specialty olive oils, was acquired by Landec Corporation on March 1, 2017. Since launching in 1995, O Olive Oil’s mission has been to create the finest quality specialty oil and vinegar products available, using only natural ingredients with no preservatives or chemicals, and with easily traceable, real food on the label. Under its “O” brand, O Olive Oil has been honored with 17 SOFI awards by the Specialty Food Association, more than any other oil and vinegar company in the world.
Landec Corporation, headquartered in Menlo Park, California, is committed to creating innovative products that support each person’s health and wellness journey. Apio Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Landec, is the leading innovator of fresh packaged vegetables and salads with its Eat Smart® brand that is sold through club, mass and grocery outlets, as well as to foodservice operators. Apio is headquartered in the vibrant growing region of California’s Central Coast, with a total of three processing centers, five distribution centers and its own fleet of trucks. Apio is focused on delivering high levels of service to its customers throughout North America where it has a presence in 60% of retail sites and 100% of club stores.
Molly Hemmeter, Landec’s President and CEO, states, “With the dramatic shift in consumer preference to “clean” and organic ingredients, O Olive Oil is uniquely positioned to deliver consumers the high quality products they desire. By providing O Olive Oil with the necessary capital to fuel its strong innovation pipeline and the infrastructure to enable expanded distribution, O Olive Oil can better provide high standards of service to all of its customers throughout North America and the world. The acquisition of O Olive Oil is Landec’s first step in our stated strategy of moving into natural product segments beyond produce that offer consumers convenient, delicious and healthy options for everyday eating.”
The shift in consumer preference to clean, natural, and organic products with a traceable origin is well documented. Food Business News states that nearly three-quarters of consumers are looking for clean labels, preferring mostly recognizable ingredients. Within the specialty oil segment, natural products now comprise 43% of the market with a current growth rate of 24% versus conventional products that are declining at 2% per year. Within the specialty vinegar category, natural products are 60% of the market and are growing at 54% while conventional vinegar products are growing at only 13%. O Olive Oil’s organic line of olive oils and natural barrel aging of Sonoma Valley’s wine varietals for vinegar processing, along with its “real food to real food” crush process, uniquely positions them to take advantage of this shift in consumer behavior.
Greg Hinson, O Olive Oil’s President and Founder, who will remain with the company in the same capacity, stated, “This is an exciting milestone for the O Olive Oil team. After two decades of carefully crafting our delicious products without chemicals and preservatives, we now have a like-minded partner with compatible values. This will help us grow our distribution, secure supply, and bring our healthy and award-winning products to more consumers throughout the world. We are thrilled to enter this new phase for our company with such a visionary partner.”
“After in-depth analysis of the consumer dynamics in the oil and vinegar market, we believe that the O brand is uniquely positioned to deliver what consumers desire. Through the long time dedication of the O Olive Oil team to innovation, natural ingredients and the development of proprietary processing techniques, they have created a brand that consumers can trust and enjoy,” said Hemmeter. “Landec is committed to supporting O Olive Oil in achieving its full growth potential and enabling them to deliver innovative, high quality products while exceeding customer expectations through service excellence. We are excited to welcome the O Olive Oil team to our Landec family.”
About Landec Corporation
Landec Corporation (NASDAQ:LNDC) is a leading innovator of diversified health and wellness solutions within the packaged food and biomaterial markets. Apio, Landec’s food business, is the leader in branded, packaged fresh vegetables in North America, utilizing its proprietary BreatheWay® packaging technology to naturally extend the shelf life of fresh produce. Apio combines this technology with the capabilities of a large national fresh produce supplier to offer healthy fresh vegetable products under the Eat Smart® brand to consumers through club and retail grocery stores. Lifecore Biomedical, Landec’s biomaterial business, is a fully integrated Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) that offers expertise and capabilities in fermentation, specialty formulation, aseptic filling and final packaging for FDA regulated medical devices and drugs to customers for applications in a wide array of markets including Ophthalmic, Orthopedic and Oncology. For more information about the company, visit Landec’s website at www.landec.com.
About O Olive Oil
O Olive Oil, founded in 1995, by Greg Hinson and is the premier producer of California specialty olive oils and wine vinegars. Long favored by both home cooks and professional chefs, O Olive Oil has been honored with 17 SOFI awards by the Specialty Food Association, more than any other oil and vinegar company in the world. O Olive Oil products are sold in over 4,600 natural food, conventional grocery and mass retail stores, primarily in the in the United States and Canada. For more information about the company, visit us at www.ooliveoil.com.
Gregory S. Skinner
Vice President Finance and CFO
At O Olive Oil:
Founder, O Olive Oil