Deoleo, the manufacturer and distributor of top-quality olive oil, has taken note with pride of the fact that Spaniards – already among the world’s leading consumers of olive oil – are buying even more lately, with last year witnessing the largest jump in consumption since 2011.
Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries calculated that household consumption of virgin and extra virgin olive oil increased by 9.2 and 7.2 percent, respectively. The households with children are those that concentrate the highest proportion of consumption, together with adult couples without children, and retired.
According to the latest report on Food Consumption of Spain, olive oil consumption in Spain rose by 3.47 percent in 2018, the largest increase since 2011. Combined, the ministry estimated that olive oil represented nearly two-thirds (64.9 percent) of all vegetable oil consumed in Spain last year.
As recently reported by Daniel Lawson in the trade publication Olive Oil Times, citing industry and government sources, a key reason is that olive oil prices have seen a dramatic plunge in recent times.
The Unión de Uniones states on its website that the growth in consumption stems from the decline in price “as well as a greater knowledge and information on the part of consumers of the benefits of extra virgin olive oil”. While Spain’s Union of Farmers’ and Ranchers’ Unions believes the hike in consumption is also due to consumers being more aware of the health benefits derived from fine olive oil and also credit better education regarding the health benefits of a diet containing plenty of olive oil.
The ministry’s report further pointed out that in spite of dropping prices, the value of olive oil purchased by Spaniards slightly increased, and particularly the value of virgin olive oil, which rose by 3.8 percent and extra virgin olive oil, up 2.5 percent.