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Hamburg, Germany

German con­sumers are demand­ing more infor­ma­tion on the qual­i­ties, ori­gin and pric­ing of olive oils, which is in turn improv­ing trans­parency in the country’s olive oil mar­ket, accord­ing to Spain’s Institute of Foreign Trade (ICEX).

Above all, Germans still love but­ter and mar­garine, but when it comes to edi­ble oils, the top three in terms of amount con­sumed are canola, sun­flower and then olive oil, with respec­tive mar­ket shares of about 37, 31 and 18 per­cent, the recent ICEX report, “The Olive Oil Market in Germany” says.

However, among organic oils, olive oil is the leader, with the high­est sales in terms of vol­ume per house­hold. ICEX says the grow­ing demand for organic pro­duce is one of most strik­ing ten­den­cies in the German food mar­ket.

Nevertheless, over­all olive oil imports by Germany slipped slightly last year in both vol­ume and value. Compared to 2011, the vol­ume imported — 67,432 tons — was down 0.51 per­cent, but since 2007 there’s been aver­age annual growth of 1.65 per­cent

Among other aspects of the German olive oil mar­ket high­lighted by ICEX are that:

- store brands (par­tic­u­larly those of dis­count chains Aldi and Lidl) account for nearly half of all olive oil sold and, in terms of vol­ume, two thirds of olive oil sales are in dis­count stores

- while half of all retail turnover in 2012 derived from prod­ucts in the €3 – 3.49/L price seg­ment, more than a fifth was from prod­ucts in the €5 – 6/​L range, and a new price seg­ment of above €7/​L, which a few years ago was almost non-​existent, now accounts for 15 per­cent

- the vast major­ity of olive oil imported is vir­gin grade (82.57 per­cent in vol­ume) but imports in this cat­e­gory fell slightly in both vol­ume and value in 2012 com­pared to 2011

- Italy pro­vides the vast major­ity of Germany’s olive oil — nearly 72 per­cent of imports — and Spain ranks next with just over 14 per­cent, then Greece with almost nine per­cent

- in 2012, Greece over­took Spain in terms of the value of its vir­gin olive oil imports into Germany, but Spain remained ahead in vol­ume

- Germans con­sumed an aver­age of 0.91L each of canola oil last year and spent €1.79 ($2.43) on it, com­pared to 0.42L and €2.10 ($2.85) for of olive oil

- they pre­fer to buy their olive oil in glass rather than plas­tic bot­tles and in vol­umes of 500 – 750 ml

- oil and fat con­sump­tion is declin­ing in Germany — the per capita con­sump­tion of 20kg in 2011 was down nearly a quar­ter on that of six years ear­lier.



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