Ariston Specialties’ ‘My Dressing Center’ dispenses olive oil, with or without adding flavorings, into glass bottles right in the store.

The following article can be found in the May 2017 edition of the The Griffin Report.

Tom Doukas, owner of Ariston Specialties of Bloomfield, Connecticut, calls it a game-changer in the olive oil retail category.

He’s referring to the company’s “My Dressing Center,” which now is available in some supermarkets. It dispenses olive oil, with or without adding flavorings, into glass bottles right in the store.

The center was developed over two years through a collaborative process between Ariston and Virginia Tech. Doukas said the center is awaiting patent approval.

Wayne Pesce, president of the Connecticut Food Association, compared the center to a Coke Freestyle machine in comments made on the NGA Show expo floor.

“Greece is where they actually do the production (of the olive oil)… This goes back to authenticity because there’s an issue of authenticity in the marketing of olive oil; where is this coming from, who has produced this, is it real? This screen (on the machine) can do anything you choose for it to do — an introduction from the buyer welcoming them to the store, etc. It’s all customized,” he said.

The customer chooses the size of the bottle, the flavor pairings and the recipes. The bottles will retail for about $6.99 or $9.99 depending on the bottle size chosen.

The touchscreen not only offers pairing suggestions for the customer; the customer will also be able to view recipes and create their own “My Dressing” account by entering their email address.

Doukas said, “If you want to just buy olive oil, push this, or if you want to add garlic, lemon, balsamic, whatever you like, there are six different items. Or you say, maybe I want to be a little more creative today. You can do whatever you like; you are the boss. The machine will tell you to pick a bottle; then you can hear the machine dispensing the oil. You send the recipe to your email, print it, labels go right on the bottle that tells you what your dressing is, what the recipe is.”

Other functions of the center include cross-merchandising and analytics. It could hold baguettes, croutons, bread sticks or other things that merchandise with the olive oil.

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