Extra virgin olive oil is a pillar of the Mediterranean diet and is back in fashion and at the top of consumers’ preferences. According to Assitol, the Italian association of the oil industry, consumption has more than doubled worldwide in recent decades. A trend that remained positive even in 2020 despite the coronavirus pandemic. Estimates for the Italian market show an increase in sales by +6%, mainly due to the sales growth in the large-scale retail trade.
Consumption trends also confirm how extra virgin olive oil is highly appreciated. Two-thirds of Italians consider it a good and high-quality product, while over 60% buy it because they consider it healthy. Olives origin emerges as a driver of growth: younger people cite the territory and types of olive cultivar among the criteria for choice, while people aged 40 years or older like the great Italian brands the most.
Olive oil is in fact considered the main ‘marker’ of the adhesion to the Mediterranean Diet, as well as an index of healthy nutrition. Scientific research has shown that olive oil is fundamental for cardiovascular health, as it reduces risk factors such as diabetes, overweight and cholesterol, all linked to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Extra virgin olive oil is also linked to the concept of well being, not only in Italy but also worldwide. In the United States, which is a major importer of olive oil, it is mainly Millennials who consume it every day. This suggests that their loyalty to this product is destined to become even stronger in the future.
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