Mediterranean foods and flavors are hotter than ever in foodservice—from trends like typical Spanish tapas, pinchos and paella to specialty ingredients like pimento, Marcona almonds and Serrano ham.

There’s an easy point of entry for any menu: European olives add instant, merchandisable Europe-appeal to everything from drinks and bar food to small plates, salads, sandwiches and entrées.

In the wake of the soaring popularity of olive oil in the U.S., table olive consumption has risen dramatically in the last decade. Consumers and restaurant patrons see olives as tasty, healthful snacks, packed with flavor and perfect with drinks. And with countless varietals—each with its own exotic name—European olives let you give your guests the olives they love with the added allure of Europe.

European olives are a perfect fit with the kind of healthy Mediterranean-inspired diet more and more consumers are looking for. And they’re packed with great nutritional benefits. For foodservice operators, using European olives as an ingredient is a simple, colorful, flavorful way to instantly increase the perceived health appeal of any dish.

A Hand-Harvesting Heritage

Olives are picked in the months of September and October, when the fruit reaches the right size and just before it starts to change color. Most table olives are picked in the traditional way, one by one, in order to avoid damaging the fruit. Then they’re transported, handled and prepared using modern facilities and state-of-the-art technology. Taste, quality, tradition, respect…those are some of the reasons why most olives consumed in the U.S are Olives from Spain.

While Olives from Spain are strong and robust all on their own, their unique taste and texture can create more than just an impressive solo act. Thanks to the numerous options for presentation and the various types of processing methods used a wide range of table olives are available.