CPP-LUXURY.COM has recently interviewed Antonio Božić, a Croatian entrepreneur who created Golden Oliver Oil, a unique luxury gourmet product which has been gathering exceptional international awareness. Mr Bozic is the founder and General Manager of Creative lab Ltd, the company which produces GOO (Golden Olive Oil).
How did you come up with the idea of producing and distributing Golden Olive Oil?
During years, following the development of the use of extra virgin olive oil, we noticed that most of the olive oils, which currently can be found on the world market, were meant for cooking and seasoning food. With the increase of quality olive oil production and the trend of their use is increasing every day, we came up with the idea to conceive a unique product which would with its quality and luxury packaging differ to the current and standard offer. To make the product even more interesting, we have infused olive oil with pure edible gold flakes.
What are the key features of the manufacturing process of the golden olive oil?
Basic characteristics of GOO product are in its dedicated and complex process of becoming. We hired 12 different Croatian craftsmen whose knowledge, experience and love towards traditional crafts are evident in the high standards kept during the manufacturing process, and guarantee the quality of each individual product. All items used in assembly of GOO product are handmade while during whole manufacturing process emphasize is on perfection of every detail. Such work requires a lot of time, hence the finalization of a complete package of one GOO product is 30 working days.
How important is the quality of the olive oil in your final product? How do you select the quality of the olive oil?
The olive oil quality is very important. Starting from the geographical area where the olive groves are situated and the quality of soil, a limited and controlled organic farming, proper selection of different varieties of olives that are later mixed, to the dedicated people who care about olives and process olives in the finest extra-virgin olive oil golden colour. Oil that was used in our GOO product originates from old olive groves of the island of Hvar, situated on the southern part of the island, bathed in sun and sea, 365 days a year. Produced olive oil must be of the highest quality and each handpicked olive is the same day cold pressed in the modern olive oil mill. The final taste of oils should not be too strong, and its bitterness should not dominate over the taste, which is achieved by mixing the stronger (more bitter) varieties of olives, with mild (less bitter) varieties, with hints of moderately fruitiness and aroma of olives. Thus, oil has gained widespread use because it does not significantly change the taste of food, but it gives an authentic signature.
Packaging is an integral part of any commercial product. How important is packaging in the case of your product?
Packaging of GOO product plays a very important role. If we take a look at the olive oils present in the world market (except for a few truly brilliant examples of packaging that can be recently found in specialty stores) we may notice simple packaging for consumer use which generally protects its inside content from damage with the basic information printed on the carton box. Through designing the GOO packing, we tried to do a story and create packaging that will cause emotions for those who sees it. Luxuriously crafted black wooden box lacquered with high gloss lacquer in several layers, protected by a small lock, enrobed in a velvet anti dust bag, bottle that reminds to perfume closed with gilt wooden cork placed in the cradle of silk … every piece is absolutely sexy and elegant. 2
Where do you distribute your product? What are your plans regarding distribution?
As the GOO product is in the category of luxury gourmet products, its distribution is carefully planned in details. Therefore, we are trying to find quality distributors who will use their status and past experience in this product segment to present and offer GOO to the audience that will appreciate and recognize its quality. In Croatia, GOO product can be found at a few selling points which are intently selected such as luxury hotels and gourmet shops. As far as distribution and placement in other markets we agreed representatives for Russia and Austria while in process are final negotiations for Australia, Switzerland, France and USA.
What is the most exclusive gourmet recipe which could include Golden Olive Oil?
Last year when we did GOO presentation at the Regent Esplanade hotel in Zagreb, the main chef Jeffrey J. Vella was simply thrilled with its application. He developed a multiple-course meal of soup, fish, shellfish, meat, side dishes and desserts. What impressed me the most, was a dessert made from organic poached figs, honey comb, olive oil ice cream and everything poured with our golden olive oil. It looked absolutely fantastic and the gold flakes in olive oil perfectly fit in. And the soup was genius as well … After all, Mr. Vella used to cook with Mr. Gordon Ramseys and in the famous El Bulli restaurant.
How would you compare your product with other products which use gold such as chocolate?
The only common point that we can associate with the GOO product and other products that use gold is the supplement – edible gold. Gold is used in food for hundreds of years and its use is truly diverse. GOO product is different in a way as olive oil can be applied to almost all dishes where you normally would use olive oil on a daily basis. Therefore, we can spice up the salad, pour it over soups, desserts, meat, venison, fish, shellfish, ice cream… we can use it as an appetizer for dipping pieces of hard bread or cheese, as the final decoration on the pizza and pastes … we can even use it over the chocolate with golden leaves
What is the profile of your most loyal consumer?
People who use the GOO product are mostly gastro experienced hedonists and people with strong sense of aesthetics. Our oil decorates the table for heads of state, ambassadors, doctors, jet set, athletes, businessmen … Anyone who decides to have GOO product, finds dozens of ways of applying it. We receive e-mails from around the world with photographs of its application. Some use it for cosmetic purposes, nourishing their skin with our oils leaving golden trace on their skin. Moreover, we received a request from a famous New York restaurant to introduce our GOO product into its standard offer allowing their guests to use it at the table and spice their food on their own. But GOO product is numbered thus it becomes also a matter of prestige. Speaking of which we are just producing a personalized edition for one Russian businessman, who wished to have printed a couple verses of a poem on the mirror inside the box cover and to give it as such to his business partners
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