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Global olive oil consumption grows 73 percent in 25 years

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Staff writer ▼ | March 1, 2016
Olive oil
Healthy food   Italy is the only country with 533 varieties of olive oils

Global consumption of olive oil has grown by 73 percent 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 percent growth in 25 years, European Supermarket Magazine reports.

High growth rates were also registered in other markets such as Japan (up 1400 percent in 2015), the UK (763 percent), Germany (465 percent), Brazil (393 percent), Russia (320 percent) and France (268 percent).

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 percent, while Greece has seen a drop of 27 percent.

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 percent 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.


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