Olive Council Sets Out to Study Global Consumption Trends

The International Olive Council says it will embark on a study to better understand consumption trends around the world.
Jan. 15, 2021
Paolo DeAndreis

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Over the past three decades global olive oil con­sump­tion has nearly dou­bled, ris­ing from 1.7 mil­lion tons in the 1990/91 crop year to 3.2 mil­lion tons in 2019/20, accord­ing to data from the International Olive Council (IOC).

However, this growth has not been uni­form and olive oil pop­u­lar­ity has ebbed and flowed in dif­fer­ent parts of the world, which makes paint­ing a pic­ture of con­sump­tion trends and the over­all global olive oil mar­ket more chal­leng­ing.

To that end, the IOC announced a research project that will gather spe­cific and locally avail­able infor­ma­tion, involv­ing pub­lic and pri­vate enti­ties as well as con­sumers.

The study will con­sist of a review of all the infor­ma­tion pub­lished to date on oil and fat con­sump­tion at both the national and inter­na­tional lev­els and the analy­sis of sec­ondary infor­ma­tion from pub­lic and pri­vate sources,” the IOC wrote. It will also be based on a rep­re­sen­ta­tive sur­vey car­ried out by means of a struc­tured ques­tion­naire addressed to con­sumers in the coun­tries con­cerned.”

See Also: Olive Oil Consumption Set to Outpace Production For a Change

Looking at the num­bers recorded in the last few decades, the IOC high­lights how its non-mem­ber coun­tries have seen a steady increase in olive oil con­sump­tion, grow­ing from 14 to 30 per­cent of total global con­sump­tion.

The most promi­nent exam­ples of this growth are the United States and Brazil. Between 1990/91 and 2019/20, olive oil con­sump­tion in the U.S. grew from approx­i­mately 88,000 tons to 400,000 tons. Over the same period, con­sump­tion in Brazil rose from 18,500 tons to 104,000 tons.

Meanwhile in China, for which the IOC only began col­lect­ing data in 2008, olive oil con­sump­tion also has grown dra­mat­i­cally, ris­ing from 12,000 tons to 57,500 tons by 2019/20.

On the other hand, con­sump­tion within the European Union, where roughly 70 per­cent of the world’s olive oil is pro­duced, has sig­nif­i­cantly shrunk.

While the E.U. accounted for 70 per­cent of world­wide con­sump­tion in 2004/05, that fig­ure has fallen to 50 per­cent in 2019/20.

When con­sump­tion started to fall in the E.U., it increased in the rest of the world,” the IOC wrote. For this rea­son, the study on con­sumer behav­ior was con­sid­ered nec­es­sary to ana­lyze the vari­ables involved in con­sump­tion and under­stand what caused its decline in some coun­tries.”

Due to cur­rent Covid-19 emer­gency mea­sures inter­fer­ing with nor­mal oper­a­tions and activ­i­ties in most coun­tries involved, the IOC has explained that the research project will offi­cially be started as soon as pos­si­ble, after the pan­demic.”





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