The European Commission, in partnership with Spain’s Articles about Interprofesional del Aceite de Oliva Español, has issued a three-year marketing campaign focused on promoting Spanish olive oil, a growing staple in Indian diets.
According to the Economic Times, India’s demand for olive oil is up 40 percent from last year and the country expects this number to continue to rise. This is in part due to lower prices as a result of last year’s increased olive oil production in Spain and also the effect of higher incomes and spending in India.
Spain currently supplies India with 89 percent of its olive oil and has produced 1.7 million tons of olive this year compared to 1.3 million tons last year, the ET reports. VN Dalmia, president of the India Olive Association, said they intend to import 14,300 tons of olive oil this year compared to 11,000 from last year.
Meanwhile, Borges India, a leading provider of Spanish oils has just launched its own media campaign, featuring actress Chitrangada Singh, and expects the demand for their product to grow 50 percent, says director Rajneesh Bhasin.
The push for more imported oil puts rice bran oil companies in strict competition.
While both olive oil and rice bran oil provide ample health benefits, rice bran oil has historically been leading the edible oil industry in India due to its lower cost and availability. According to Angshu Mallick director of a top rice bran distributor Adani Wilmar, the “Availability of rice bran is much smoother as India is one of the leading rice producers. Olive oil is mostly used in salads and soft cooking whereas rice bran is used in frying and cooking Indian dishes.”
Business Wire India recently reported over 40 percent of urban Indians have high cholesterol and triglycerides and 140 million people in India are living with high blood pressure. Unhealthy seed oils and fried snacks are blamed as leading causes of these health problems.
Still, dietary awareness is on the rise in Indian communities. The Times of India recently published a call for women to increase the amount of essential nutrients in their diet making it rich in nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, and olive oil.