Spain Sees Largest Olive Oil Consumption Increase in Nearly a Decade

Olive oil consumption in Spain rose by more than three percent, the biggest increase since 2011. Falling prices and better education about extra virgin olive oil's health benefits are attributed to the increase.

A new report from Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries showed that household consumption of olive oil increased by 3.47 percent in 2018, the largest increase since 2011.

Consumption of virgin and extra virgin olive oil led the way, rising by 9.2 and 7.2 percent, respectively. Consumption of non-virgin olive oil rose slightly, by only 0.2 percent.

Combined, the Ministry estimates that olive oil represented 64.9 percent – nearly two-thirds – of all vegetable oil consumed in Spain last year.

One of the reasons that olive oil consumption is bucking the previous downward trend may be the dramatic increase in prices that Spain has experienced this year.

At this time in 2017, olive oil was retailing at an average of €3.77 (AU$6.04) per kilogram, according to Poolred, an organization that tracks olive oil prices.

Since then, prices have fallen by more than 40 percent, reaching €2.14 (AU$3.43) per kilogram, on average, at the time of writing.

Spain’s Union of Farmers’ and Ranchers’ Unions attributed the increase in consumption not only to the lower prices, but also better education about the health benefits of olive oil. More