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There are thousands of olive oil brands. As we explained in the article Best Olive Oil, there is no better extra virgin olive oil, but a great variety of brands that have a very high quality. How to distinguish which brands are reliable?

There are three main types of brands that can be found in a supermarket: white label or retailers own brand, large botler's own brand and producer's own brand. The first thing is to decide what type of brand we are looking for. We take for granted that all brands will pack EVOO with at least the official quality standards.

When we are looking for a book, music or film, do we care about the author, director or performer? When we choose a wine, do we care if it is white or red, between one variety or another, a Denomination of Origin or another?

In order to choose an EVOO we must follow the same criteria, as they are not all the same.

The retailer’s own brand EVOO is going to give us a certain quality that will depend on and be guaranteed by the supermarket, but we must know that they are not producers, neither packers nor experts in the field. We will never know exactly the origin of the oil contained in the bottle as it is common for it to be bottled by different suppliers and due to the large volume and standardization of the packs, the type of oil will be homogeneous but little differentiated.

The bottler's own brands, very common and well known in Spain, come from companies that specialize in packaging, and they usually package different types of oils, from seeds and olives. Within the olive oils it is common for them to package EVOOs and Olive Oil (refined). Its batches are also very large, coming from different suppliers, cooperatives or industrial mills, and the varieties of Olive and origin are not usually specified in the label. The type of EVOO is very similar to the retailer’s own brand, homogeneous but little differentiated.

The producer brands, both industrial and cooperative, come directly from professionals linked to both the field and the oil mill. They usually do not have the capacity to refine or bottle other types of oil. Therefore, they only bottle EVOOs. The origin of the EVOO is specified in the label of the bottle as well as the varieties used. The type of EVOO will depend very much on its varieties and the climate of the area. The oils will display a profile with particular characteristics.

We are now going to focus on how to decide between the different producer brands, since between the retailer’s own brands and the large bottler brands, in most cases, the only factor of decision is the price, since any other differences are slight.

Producer Brands usually have different types of packaging formats for different uses. With an EVOO packaged in large formats of one, three or five liters we can cook and fry, at a suitable price for a daily use of large volume and we can use another intense fruit EVOO, packaged in small glass formats, to finish off dishes, dress salads, on toast or as an appetizer. It's a good option to have on the dining table an EVOO of good quality, in glass bottles and a few cans of EVOO in the kitchen for cooking. (Plastic or PET is never recommended in EVOO because of the high migrations of stalates to the oils).

Given all this, how do I choose a particular brand? Our first recommendation is that you do not choose just one brand. The beautiful and interesting thing about this EVOO world is the great diversity and nuances that differentiate each other. Try different EVOOs, different varieties and origins, different producers and you will discover this world. As in music or literature, in the end you will have your favorites, but you will always enjoy discovering a new one.

Family Production brands have their own profiles marked by the origin of their olive and their main varieties. Their productions are not usually very high and is always focused on quality rather than quantity. In the case of Suerte Alta, our containers, bottles and cans are always numbered, and we can tell you which exact area of our olive grove a certain number corresponds to.

Cooperative brands also have their own profile determined by the region, the varieties and usually have high and medium range EVOOs. There are cooperatives that have focused their efforts on the production and packaging of high quality EVOOs and select from among their farmers plots that they harvest and crush at the beginning of the season for their higher ranges.

The industrial oil mill brands, like cooperatives, have their own oil profiles and varieties and usually select the olives from the early harvest of their customers to pack very high-quality oils.

In order to guide us when deciding on one of these brands, we can use as a guarantee to look for certain quality seals and information on the bottle. The more we find on the bottle, the more guarantee we can have of the EVOO.

1. Origin of the EVOO: The country of production, producer or bottler must be specified.

2. Organic: The certificate and stamps of organic farming is a guarantee of environmental sustainability and an EVOO free of chemical residues.

3. Denomination of Origin: It specifies and guarantees the Origin and quality of the EVOO packed under its seal. There are many Denomination of Origins, each one with its own characteristics according to its region, varieties and climate.

4. QvExtra International. SIQEV Seal: The SIQEV seal guarantees that the EVOO complies with higher quality standards than the official ones, it is controlled and analyzed by an external consulting company in sale points during the whole preferential consumption date and it is produced by producers with olive grove, oil mill and own brand.

5. Numbered Bottles: This is a guarantee of differentiation and origin of the packaged EVOO, linked to a specific producer and site.

6. Olive Varieties: It indicates us the EVOO profile, which is essential for its differentiation and use in cooking.

7. Web page: It is an added reference that will give us additional information about the producer, olive grove, facilities, formats, quality awards and other information of interest.

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