Extra virgin olive oil consumption in Italy is estimated to grow by six percent over the next 10 years, according to a newly released report from the Italian Confederation of Agriculture (CIA) and Nomisma, a market research consultancy.
The increased demand for the product comes even as consumer spending is expected to contract by 10 percent over the next three decades. This decrease will mirror Italy’s population decline, but also demonstrates the growing importance of extra virgin olive oil for a new generation of consumers.
The report generally found that as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, Italians have shifted their focus onto healthier and more local food options.
Along with extra virgin olive oil, demand for organic products is estimated to grow by 44 percent in the next 30 years. There has also been renewed interest in “Made in Italy” products, including olive oil, pasta, fruits, vegetables and wine.
While compiling the report, Nomisma said that they surveyed a representative sample of 1,500 Italian consumers about their post-pandemic shopping habits.
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Based on the results of the survey, the country’s lockdown had a profound impact on the way Italians said they were eating and purchasing food.
Overall consumer spending has dipped by 22 percent in Italy in the first four months of the year, but food sales grew by six percent in April and five percent in the first months of the year.
Sixty percent of respondents said that as a result of the pandemic, they preferred to buy food from local sources.
Meanwhile, 62 percent said that they preferred to buy traditional products coming from specific areas of the country. Overall, 49 percent of respondents said they purchased products that they considered to be healthy.