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Mar 29 2019

La Chinata: From Extra Virgin Olive Oil to Natural Cosmetics, All Made in Spain

Its extra virgin olive oil, line of gourmet products, and range of natural EVOO-based cosmetics are available in more than 40 countries. What is the magic formula for their success?

La Chinata extra virgin olive oil from Spain. Photo by: La Chinata

Quality, product diversity, and a commitment to international markets. These are the three axes on which Spanish company La Chinata rotates, having managed to distribute its extra virgin olive oils, line of gourmet products and extra virgin olive oil cosmetics in more than 40 countries. We talked to Paloma Oliva, La Chinata’s Export Director, to learn the keys to this innovative company’s success.

1. The core of La Chinata’s is focused on extra virgin olive oil. In fact, the origins of this company are rooted in this product. How has the company evolvled sinced it was founded in 1932?
La Chinata has evolved a lot since its beginnings in 1932, and one of our big challenges is continuing this line. Back then the olive oil came from very rudimentary oil mills. Today, however, we rely on one of the most modern milling and pressing systems, which, despite being purely mechanical, makes it possible to extract a much greater quantity of oil from the olives, while limiting their exposure to oxygen. This cleaner and more controlled manufacturing (process) guarantees the maximum quality of our extra virgin olive oil.

2. When did you start making and selling other gourmet products, and even cosmetics? Why did you decide to make a commitment to diversification?

About 15 years ago we decided to move towards a concentric diversification, meaning we have just one product, extra virgin olive oil, which serves as the common thread for the almost 300 references we have on the market. Given the huge competition in the world of EVOO and the massive price wars, we decided to expand our catalog, and the first products were the flavored extra virgin olive oils and artisanal soaps.  
3. How does your R+D+i department work? What process does La Chinata follow until a new product is incorporated into your portfolio?

Paloma Oliva, Export Manager of La Chinata. Photo by: La Chinata

We try to offer our customers the latest market trends and novelties. To do so, we are on constant alert. Before offering a product we do a lot of tests to obtain its maximum quality, and to ensure that it always lives up to our motto, which is: “We take are of you inside and out,” in the constant search for healthy products that are available to everyone.  
4. How would you define La Chinata’s internationalization strategy? Where are your products available and in which segments?

Our products can be found in China, Holland, Switzerland, Denmark, Latvia, Finland, Indonesia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Panama, Taiwan, South Korea, Qatar, Vietnam, Omar, Costa Rica, Singapore, Mexico, Russia.... and so on, for a total of 40 countries in America, Asia and Europe, with Europe being the responsible for the largest volume of international sales. We work with distributors and master franchises in these countries. But what interests us the most are the openings of oleotecas, our own stores, which is where the concept of the brand and its philosophy are best explained.
5. What are the most popular products among international customers?

La Oleoteca shop. Photo by: La Chinata

In many countries the use of olive oil has only caught on a few years ago, because it is not as common as it is in Spain and at times it is even considered a luxury item. Even so, it is one of the most demanded products abroad, in large part thanks to the good reputation of Spanish gastronomy. In Asia, however, the most popular products are without a doubt the cosmetics. In Europe, consumers still prefer our line of gourmet products
6. Can you tell us about any of your upcoming projects (new products, new countries, special collaborations...)?

We just opened a store in South Korea, specifically in the city of Busan, and we continue exporting to emerging markets in new countries. Our idea is to keep broadening frontiers and expanding throughout the world. With regard to our product catalog, we will soon be launching a very healthy drink made with aloe vera and olive leaf extract. It is both energizing and natural. And in terms of cosmetics, we are currently very focused on nutricosmetics, taking advantages of all of the benefits of “superfoods” to care for our skin and hair. The latest products we launched consisted of three types of ampoules: Vitamin C Anti-Ox with hydroxytirosol, Anti-Spot, and Anti-Age, as well as a new line of organic-certified cosmetics, Olivita, which has been very well received.


Text: Rodrigo García / @ICEX

Translation: Adrienne Smith / @ICEX

Photos: @La Chinata

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