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High prices of olive oil drive consumers to seed oils

Staff writer |
The olive oil sector was full of ups and downs during 2015. A price increase of 28 percent contrasted with a 29 percent drop in production, due to a harvest decimated by drought in Spain and diseases in Italy.

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According to the Spanish website revistaaral.com, a litre of olive oil has reached its highest price in a decade after a sustained escalation of prices by 41.6 percent in the last four years. In the same period, the sales volume decreased by 8.7 percent.

Now the industry faces a challenge, as consumers are starting to turn to other options when confronted with the high cost of olive oil. Total oil consumption dropped by 3.2 percent last year (over 15 million litres less than the previous one).

Segment-wise, olive oil was a big responsible for the drag, since the sub-category lost 7 percent of its volume sales compared to the previous period (more than 21 million litres of oil). At the same time, however, seed oils increased their volume by 3.5 percent.

In 2016, the trend is likely to continue as olive oil prices are still high and consumers continue to include seed oils on their shopping lists.


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