Global consumption of olive oil has grown by 73 per cent over the last 25 years, according to an analysis by Italian farming group and lobby Coldiretti.
A total of 2.99 billion kilograms of olive oil were consumed globally last year, with Italy topping the list with 581 million kilograms. Spain was the second biggest consumer with 490 million kilograms, followed by the US with 308 million kilograms, and registering a record 250 per cent growth in 25 years.
High growth rates were also registered in other markets such as Japan (up 1400 per cent in 2015), the UK (763 per cent), Germany (465 per cent), Brazil (393 per cent), Russia (320 per cent) and France (268 per cent).
However, the situation is different in countries that traditionally produce olive oil, such as Italy, where consumption has remained comparatively stable over the past 25 years. In Spain there has been a small increase of 24 per cent, while Greece has seen a drop of 27 per cent.
Boosting global demand, according to Coldiretti, are the positive health effects associated with the consumption of olive oil, which have been proven by numerous scientific studies.
This opportunity has been exploited by Italy, which exported an estimated 320 million kilograms of olive oil in 2015, of which almost 100 million were sent to the United States.
However, Italian olive oil exports were down by 16 per cent over the previous year, due partly to the significant decline of the US market.
Italy currently has an estimated 250 million olive trees, and is the only country with 533 varieties of olive oils and 43 protected by the EU. Olive oil sales rose to a record value of €3 billion in 2015, of which more than half came from exports.
© 2015 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.