Confusingly, ownership of the Bertolli brand is now split between four separate companies. It is best-known as the world's top-selling branded olive oil, with a leading position in the US and several major European markets. Owned for several years by Unilever, the oil business was sold in 2008 to Grupo SOS of Spain, now known as Deoleo. Four years later, the group transferred a range of Bertolli-branded frozen meals marketed in the US to ConAgra. In 2014, Unilever also sold off its Bertolli pasta sauces business to Mizkan of Japan. It retains ownership of the Bertolli name, as well as rights to use it for spreads. The brand's profile and product range varies widely from market to market, but the US and Germany are its biggest global markets. As highlighted in the date which sits beneath the logo, the Bertolli brand was first developed in 1865 in Lucca, Italy, when Francesco and Caterina Bertolli opened a shop beneath their family home to sell their own pressings of olive oil. The business expanded rapidly at the end of the 1890s when several family members moved to the US and began importing its products. As a result, Bertolli was, it is claimed, the first Italian olive oil exported to the US.
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