Éteo is the new luxury olive oil brand that is shaking up the industry. We sat down with their CEO Alexandros Papadopoulos to find out more about the brand.
It’s hard to believe now, but there was a time when olive oil wasn’t the international star it is today. Up until about the 1990s, olive oil was still seen as a bit of a foreign agent in most households. But then something happened that changed all that: the olive oil industry launched a massive marketing campaign. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Olive oil has successfully become a food that’s beloved by people all over the world, owing to its versatility and nutritional value. The drive to healthy eating has also helped increase its popularity, as the benefits of the Mediterranean diet become more and more well-known.
But, as with most things, there is olive oil and then there is olive oil. Not all olive oils are created equal, and if you’re looking to get the most out of this healthy food, you need to know a bit about what to look for. Enters the luxury olive oil manufacturers.
Luxury olive oil manufacturers are those that take the time to create a product that is of the highest quality, from start to finish. The olives used are grown in ideal conditions and harvested at just the right moment. They are then artfully manufactured and processed to ensure that all of their healthy nutrients are kept and maximised. In this highly skilled world, there is a new brand that is on everyone’s lips.
Éteo is set to change the luxury olive oil industry, with its meticulous attention to detail and passion for creating a truly unique product. Each bottle is handcrafted and each lid is fashioned from the leftover wood of the harvested fruit, showcasing every knot and twist. The end result is a product that epitomises luxury and sophistication.
During our interview with Alexandros Papadopoulos, the CEO of Éteo luxury olive oil, he explained that his inspiration for the brand came from a desire to create something truly unique and luxurious in the industry. He wanted to capture the essence of the earth and the ancient wood of the olive tree to create a product that was elegant, yet timeless.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to be involved in luxury olive oil?
I was born and raised in Athens, Greece and moved to the United States in 2009. Entrepreneurship has always been my passion and the luxury sector was always appealing to me. The luxury food sector specifically has been growing rapidly over the last decade and olive oil is at the very centre of every diet. Combining luxury with ultra-premium quality created the perfect opportunity to introduce a new unique product to the market.
What makes Éteo different from other luxury olive oils on the market?
We are the only company in the world that produces a 100% handmade product from start to finish. Porcelain is the most expensive type of ceramic and olive wood is a very rare type of wood. By combining them, we bring to life a unique and fully sustainable work of art. Our olive oil is certified organic and of ultra-premium quality. We always ensure its taste is well balanced and its acidity is very low. Craftsmanship and high quality are the foundations of our company and this combination is what makes Éteo stand out.
How important is the packaging and presentation of Éteo?
The packaging and overall presentation of every Éteo vase need to be perfect every time. It is as important as the quality of our olive oil. We pride ourselves on creating the most beautiful olive oil bottle in the world. As a result, we want our clients to love and savour it every time they use it.
What is your favourite thing about running Éteo?
Building a luxury brand requires patience, persistence and most importantly, a profound commitment to quality. The most satisfying part of my job is when clients reach out with overwhelmingly positive feedback about their Éteo experience. It makes all the hard work of making our product completely worth it.
How has Éteo been received by the market?
We have grown significantly since our expansion to the United States in December 2021. Specifically, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and other high-end markets have really embraced Éteo and its uniqueness. In addition, we have already entered the hospitality, corporate gifting, events, conference, and other markets.
Are there any plans to expand the range of products from Éteo?
Currently, we are solely focused on offering our certified organic extra virgin olive oil product as this is our expertise. As the company grows, we will expand and offer our clients other products.
How do you see the future of Éteo?
I am very excited about our future. We have only been present in the US for 9 months and Éteo is already in very high demand. It has enormous possibilities due to the plethora of synergies with different markets and industries. For instance, we recently partnered with a high-end home décor brand in Massachusetts to offer their clients Éteo as a home item which is very rare and unique. In addition, corporate gifting is a big arm of the Éteo brand which is constantly growing as companies are looking to offer their clients more unique and memorable gifts.
Did you find a lot of resistance from other brands within the luxury olive oil market?
The luxury olive oil market is a relatively new one and yet, many companies cannot enter. That is because as a luxury brand, the story, product quality, design, packaging, and customer service need to really stand out. We did not find resistance from other olive oil brands as most of them do not have a strong competitive differentiation. Éteo is an exclusive luxury product, which is completely handmade from start to finish, fully sustainable and holds ultra-premium quality olive oil. There are no olive oil brands that can make all these claims.
How do you think Éteo can stand out against such competition?
Éteo is one of a kind and completely stands out from the competition. From the moment one lays their eyes on it, it leaves a mark and immediately makes an impression. Our story, materials, manufacturing process, and craftsmanship combined with our ultra-premium quality olive oil make it a very desirable product, which clients will want to keep forever.
How important is sustainability for the brand?
Sustainability is an integral part of our brand. The Éteo bottle is a fully sustainable product, which not only fully preserves the quality and aroma of the olive oil but is also never thrown out or recycled after the olive oil is done. It is meant to be reused by our clients. Protecting the environment is a big priority for us as the olive tree is what gives birth to olive oil. It is of utmost importance to contribute to its preservation.
Why do you think people are drawn to luxury olive oil?
There are many people who always look for something that is unique and stands out. Luxury olive oil is the combination of ultra-premium quality, packaging, and scarcity. I believe people first taste with their eyes. The craftsmanship is what first draws a consumer to look at a brand, then it is all about the quality of the olive oil. The pandemic has had a profound impact on how we view health and wellness. Many consumers are now looking for very high-quality foods and olive oil is at the very centre of any diet.
How important is sensory experience when it comes to enjoying Éteo?
Éteo is meant to be savoured and enjoyed without being wasted. We urge new clients to try it with a teaspoon for the first time after unpacking, for that is the proper way to fully experience its richness. Drops of blessing is our tagline precisely because olive oil is a blessing, and we want our clients to fully enjoy every single drop of it. The taste and smell of our olive oil, the sight of the beautiful vase, the feel and sound of the porcelain and olive wood touching the ground. Éteo engages all 5 senses from the moment it is unpacked.
Is there a story or meaning behind the name Éteo?
Éteo is an Ancient Greek word created by Homer when he wrote Iliad translating to “genuine” and “authentic”. Our Hellenic forefathers used ceramic jars to store their olive oil in and really treasured olive trees which give birth to olive oil. This is what inspired us to create the most genuine olive oil in the world. Éteo is handmade using porcelain (the most expensive type of ceramic) and olive wood. By uniting them, we were able to create a product that is pure and authentic. Éteo is an ethereal convergence between humanity and nature.
What was your inspiration for the design of the packaging?
We wanted to create a bottle that would stand out and be memorable. After we came up with Drops of Blessing, the idea of designing our bottle to look like a Perfect Drop falling came shortly afterwards. It completed our story.
Can you tell us about the crafting process for each bottle of Éteo oil?
Every Éteo vase is 100% handmade from start to finish using the finest ceramic – porcelain. We produce our porcelain using the slip casting method to achieve our perfect shape. A slurry is poured into a porous mould creating our porcelain body. From there, a handcrafted soft-sculpture technique is applied by our experts, shaping our Éteo vase, which is then glazed. The final step is the decoration of the glazed vase, which is perhaps the most difficult and time-consuming step as delicate craftsmanship is required. Our artisans apply the decal figures to the Éteo vase one by one. Producing the Éteo olive wood cap is also difficult and requires attention to detail and forethought. Raw materials are collected from the leftovers of the olive tree pruning process, which are then cut into small blocks. After the woodturning process is finished, the delicate art of wood carving is applied. Carving is the most difficult technique in woodworking and perhaps the most traditional one in Greece. Lastly, after the Éteo cap is initially shaped, we apply a smoothing and polishing technique to achieve the perfect shine.
After all these steps have been completed, Éteo – Drops of Blessing is then born.
Are there any other materials or ingredients used in the production or perhaps the process of Éteo that are unique to the brand?
Absolutely. The last step of our olive oil bottling process is packaging every finished Éteo in a vacuum-sealed bag to further preserve the olive oil’s finest properties. As you can see, the entire production process is complex, very time-consuming and unique to us as there are many materials and steps required. Yet, this is the beauty of Éteo. When finished, it really is a work of art.
How do you select the olives used in your oil?
We make sure to harvest our olives early in the season with the utmost care and respect to ensure supreme quality. Our certified organic extra virgin olive oil is of the Koroneiki variety, Greece’s most famous and well-known olive, recognized for its low acidity and perfectly balanced rich taste.
What makes the clay and wood used in Éteo so special?
Porcelain is the most difficult and expensive type of ceramic to produce. The Éteo porcelain-forming process takes a lot of skill, zeal, effort and time. It represents the devotion of our potters to making that vase, which you can’t get from something made by a machine. It is old-fashioned and portrays the ingenuity of mankind. The olive wood is very special to us not only because it is deeply connected with the Éteo story, but also because it is an integral part of our Greek heritage representing longevity.
Do you have any tips for storing and using luxury olive oil correctly?
Extra virgin olive oil should always be stored at room temperature and away from direct sunlight and heat. This will help preserve the properties of your olive oil.
How do you see luxury olive oil evolving in the next few years?
The luxury olive oil market is a new one and will grow rapidly within the ever-growing speciality food industry. It tailors to people who not only value health and wellness, but also luxury and exclusivity. Olive oil is growing rapidly around the world as more and more people get educated on its numerous health benefits. In 2021, global olive oil consumption reached a record 3.1 million metric tons with the US accounting for 406,000 of it*. We have already witnessed the merging of enormous industries such as luxury and food or luxury and alcohol. It is therefore only a matter of time until luxury olive oil becomes world-renowned.