Spanish households buy more sunflower oil than olive oil for the first time

Spanish households buy more sunflower oil than olive oil for the first time
Spanish households buy more sunflower oil than olive oil for the first time

Sales of sunflower oil have surpassed olive oil sales in Spain for the first time.

According to data from the National Association of Industrial Packaging and Refiners of Edible Oils (Anierac), sales of olive oil fell from 134,000 tons in October 2023 to 110,477 tons in March 2024, a decrease of 17.5 percent.

In contrast, sunflower oil sales increased by 24.5 percent during the same period, rising from 127,400 tons to 158,574 tons.

See also:Spanish olive oil production continues to exceed expectations

Officials in Spain point to below-average olive oil production in much of the world for the second year in a row, combined with historically high olive oil prices, as the main reasons for the decline in consumption.

Data from NielsenIQ, a market research company, shows that retail olive oil prices increased by 61 percent between May 2023 and May 2024, reaching an average of 7.41 euros per liter. Prices for virgin and extra virgin olive oil rose similarly, reaching 8.92 and 7.77 euros per liter, respectively.

At the same time, sunflower oil prices in retail trade have fallen by 35 percent over the same period, to 1.56 euros per liter.

In its 2023 domestic consumption report, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Spanish households reduced edible oil consumption by 3.3 percent in 2023.

Ministry data shows that olive oil consumption fell by almost 15 percent in 2023, while sunflower oil consumption increased. Demand for olive pomace oil, the price of which increased by a modest 23 percent, more than doubled.

Despite the fact that olive oil is losing ground compared to other edible oils, the Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, said that The Mediterranean diet remains the basis of the Spanish diet.

In Spain, the world’s leading producer of olive oil, per capita consumption of total olive oil exceeds six liters per person, while in the world this consumption barely reaches 0.41 liters,” the ministry writes in a statement.

The report also confirms that Spaniards continued to prepare dishes with meat, vegetables, eggs and fish at home, with a greater consumption of legumes.

“Fresh foods, especially dairy products, fruits and vegetables, account for 37.6 percent of the volume of household diets,” the ministry wrote. “The Spaniards prioritize health, flavor and simplicity in preparations, as demonstrated by their preference for green salads and grilled preparations.”

Overall, olive oil sector observers and participants expect this trend to reverse when the 2024/25 agricultural campaign begins in October.

Above-average rainfall in the country’s most prolific olive oil-producing regions, combined with the lack of temperature changes during flowering, has some growers cautiously optimistic that production will return to normal.

Spain produced an average of 1.4 million tonnes annually in the five years leading up to the historically low 2022/23 harvest. If production returns to normal, prices are expected to stabilize between 3 and 4 euros per kilogram at origin, approximately half of what they are now.

As a result, olive oil industry observers believe demand will recover quickly, as many consumers have changed their olive oil consumption habits, such as purchasing smaller formats and lower quality grades, without abandoning the category for good. complete.

There is not enough olive oil available to cover the demand,” said Juan Vilar, strategic consultant. Olive Oil Times in a January interview patch. But demand hasn’t fallen much… People don’t want to leave the olive oil category.”

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