Olive Oil Consumption Slips by Surprising Numbers, Table Olive Oil Continues to Remain Lucrative Space

People in regions where olive oil has been traditionally consumed in food are reported to have a higher life expectancy. A rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids, olive oil finds several advocates in the form of nutritionists and dieticians. That consumers are increasingly embracing the use of olive oil can be gauged from the increasing amounts of land allocated to the cultivation of olives and a spike in olive exports from countries in the Mediterranean region to the world.

While this might have created a multibillion dollar olive oil market globally—and one that continues to attract more investments—recent reports are pointing toward a surprising trend: olive oil consumption is actually showing a drop.

The trade volumes of table olive oil have not been disappointing, but olive oil trade as a whole has seen some unexpected variations.

According to latest figures released by the International Olive Council, global olive oil consumption slid by 7% in the 2014-15 crop year. The IOC says that that higher prices have deterred consumers from purchasing more olive oil. The issue is only further compounded by intense competition in the olive oil industry.

The report published by IOC reveals some interesting numbers about olive oil trade the world over in 2014-15 as compared to 2013-14. Here are a few highlights to put things into perspective:
  • Japan imported 10% more olive oil in 2014-15 as compared to the previous crop year
  • Olive oil imports have managed to hold steady in China and United States, two of the largest markets for olive oil companies. However, the United States has imported 12% more table olive oil, the IOC report states.
  • There has been a dramatic drop of 33% in olive oil imports by Russia. Other countries that have shown a decline in import volumes are: Canada (7% less), Australia (21% less), and Brazil (8% less).
The report finds that Spain stood proudly in the top spot as far as olive oil production is concerned, with 841,200 tons at the close of the current crop year (2014-15).


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