`In France, Olive Oil Leads Sales But Not Usage - Olive Oil Times

In France, Olive Oil Leads Sales But Not Usage

Jul. 12, 2010
Lindsey Partos

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By Lindsey Partos
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Paris

The French may con­sume more sun­flower oil than olive oil, but the lat­ter is bring­ing pre­mium price gains to retail­ers.

According to fresh fig­ures from gov­ern­ment orga­ni­za­tion FranceAgriMer, olive oil is the sec­ond most con­sumed oil behind sun­flower oil at french retail­ers.

But while olive oil rep­re­sents 21 per cent in terms of vol­ume sales, it actu­ally claims a con­sid­er­able 43 per cent in terms of value.

This is explained by the price per litre that is much higher than its prin­ci­pal com­peti­tors: EUR5.5 for olive oil, com­pared to EUR2.50 for mixed oils, EUR1.70 for sun­flower, and EUR1.60 for colza,” clar­i­fied FranceAgriMer.

French con­sump­tion of olive oil is esti­mated at around 105 000 tonnes. In 2009 imports came in at 106 000 tonnes, more than 116 mil­lion litres.

The large swathe of imports hails from Spain and Italy that together make up 88 per cent of the olive oil con­sumed by the French.

Retailers are the hot spot for olive oil pur­chases, with 68 per cent of all olive oil bought at super­mar­kets and dis­count chains.

The short cir­cuit — or local shops — only have about 12 per cent of the mar­ket,” explained the gov­ern­ment body, adding that the remain­ing sales are mopped up by the food and cos­metic indus­tries.

Colza oil is a non-dry­ing oil obtained from the seeds of Brassica campestris, var. oleifera, a vari­ety of the plant that pro­duces Swedish turnips. Colza is exten­sively cul­ti­vated in France, Belgium, United States of America, the Netherlands and Germany. In France, espe­cially, the extrac­tion of the oil is an impor­tant indus­try. In com­merce, colza is classed with rape­seed oil, to which it is very closely allied in both source and prop­er­ties.

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