The Indian edible oils market has been witnessing the entry of a slew of olive oil brands that are competing aggressively for shelf space with established ones.

Nearly forty brands have come up over the past few years with both local traders and importers joining the growing olive oil bandwagon. Global companies such as Cargill and Borges have launched their brands in India, while domestic brands such as Leonardo from Dalmia Continental are also consolidating their market share.

The high sales volumes and rapid growth rates achieved by leading companies such as Bharti-Delmonte, Borges and Dalmia is encouraging new players to enter the fray. A leading Indian company, Modi Naturals, has recently introduced its olive oil brand “Oleev” in the North Indian market, while Adani Wilmar, a major player in the edible oil industry, is planning to bring its global partner’s olive oil brand into India.

Olive oil brands are finding prominence at most of the leading supermarkets and modern retail stores. Retailers are keen to allocate a greater space to these brands on their shelves because the demand is growing, despite the fact that olive oil is about three to four times costlier than traditional Indian edible oils. India’s annual per capita consumption of olive oil stood at 0.0054 kg (a little over one teaspoon) as of March, 2012, compared to the global average of 0.43 kg.

Modi Naturals Ltd. said its national roll-out is not only focusing on the metropolitan cities that have a high exposure to international lifestyles, but they also plan to target smaller cities and towns. Modi Naturals has developed a blend of olive oil with rice bran oil, which will be marketed under the brand Oleev Active.

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