`Olive Oil in Packaged Foods Influences Consumers More than Other Fats, Study Shows

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Olive Oil in Packaged Foods Influences Consumers More than Other Fats, Study Shows

May. 28, 2020
Julie Al-Zoubi

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A recent study by the Cargill con­glom­er­ate found that 68 per­cent of the world’s con­sumers closely mon­i­tor the types and amounts of fats con­tained in pack­aged foods. Par­tic­i­pants reported that fat and oil types strongly influ­enced their pack­aged food pur­chas­ing deci­sions.

The 2020 FAT­i­tudes study exam­ined the shop­ping habits of over 6,000 gro­cery shop­pers from twelve coun­tries includ­ing the United States, Ger­many, China, Brazil and the United King­dom. The data con­firmed that most con­sumers keep an eye on what they are con­sum­ing by pay­ing atten­tion to the label­ing infor­ma­tion on pack­aged foods.

Olive oil came out tops in every coun­try for being per­ceived as a healthy oil in pack­aged foods. Ninety-three per­cent of global con­sumers said they were aware that omega-3s are an impor­tant nutri­ent offer­ing numer­ous health ben­e­fits but not always found in typ­i­cal diets. Avo­cado and fish oils were also per­ceived pos­i­tively.

Around two-thirds of U.S. con­sumers said they avoid cer­tain fats and oils while 83 per­cent of clean-label seek­ers” claimed to avoid prod­ucts con­tain­ing sat­u­rated and trans fats.

The study con­firmed that most con­sumers check fat-related label­ing claims and shop­pers are strongly influ­enced by claims such as fat-free” and low fat.” In most of the sur­veyed coun­tries, an organic cer­ti­fi­ca­tion label was deemed more influ­en­tial than a non-GMO ver­i­fi­ca­tion.


Sev­enty per­cent of con­sumers said the amount of fat in pack­aged foods was impor­tant while 67 per­cent were con­cerned about the type of oil used. There was a wide vari­a­tion in how fre­quently food labels were read in dif­fer­ent coun­tries. While 89 per­cent of Chi­nese shop­pers claimed they paid atten­tion to label­ing, only 48 per­cent of Ger­man con­sumers said they read food labels.

The annual sur­vey seeks to dis­cover more about con­sumer aware­ness, per­cep­tion and behav­ior regard­ing oils and fats con­tained in pack­aged goods. Feed­back from the study enables food pro­duc­ers to drive deci­sions in light of the chang­ing con­sumer demands.

Nese Tagma, man­ag­ing direc­tor of strat­egy and inno­va­tion for Cargill’s global edi­ble oils busi­ness said in a press release, As con­sumers’ atti­tudes toward fats and oils have shifted in recent years, we know they’re inter­ested in con­sum­ing healthy amounts of oils.”

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