The Rise of Olive Oil around the world

Olive oil has been used forever. It is central to the diet and day to day life in the southern Mediterranean and North Africa but this simple oil has evolved to become the bestselling oil in many countries, such as the UK and USA.

The Greeks, Italians and Spanish have always been aware of the health benefits of olive oil. They have always used the oil for cooking, moisturising dry skin, lighting their lamps and cleaning their faces but why is the northern European region seeing a 40% increase in sales in 5 years?

There are 3 main reason. Diet, health and aspiration.

Olive oil is a healthier option than other cooking fats, lowering cholesterol and reducing risk of cancer and heart disease. As western Europeans and Americans search for the next miracle diet there is an awareness that olive oil is at the centre of all good, healthy food.

In many countries there has been a huge increase in the celebrity status of TV chefs and this has helped people’s awareness of the taste and freshness olive oil can bring.

In the USA and UK olive oil prices have risen to dizzying levels. £65 a half litre is not unknown. This is a reflection of the aspirational demand for the oil.

Which countries use it more?

The biggest global consumer of Olive oil is Greece who consume twice as much per person than anywhere else in the world. Then it’s the other producing nations, Italy and Spain. Olive oil consumption remains high in these areas because it is so central to everyday life and it is cheap. Cooking and cleansing with the oil is in the people’s DNA.

Consumption in non-producing areas is rising and new producing countries, such as Australia are using more oil than ever and the demand for healthier food options is creating high demand in Russia, USA, Canada and the UK.

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