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1.1 Definition and scope of the study

The olive is a fruit characteristic of the Mediterranean region which is consumed in two forms: either as a condiment, as a table olive, or in the form of olive oil after pressing the fruit.

The olive oil is obtained by crushing fresh fruit to obtain a paste, then filtering, centrifuging, heating (or not) the paste to extract the oil. It is one of the main ingredients in the Mediterranean diet and is mainly used in the preparation of salads and as a fat/grease material in cooking. It is also used for cosmetics in a more tangential way.

The world olive oil market is highly concentrated in the Mediterranean region, particularly in Spain, Greece and Italy. Spain is also the world's leading producer, accounting for 40% of world production. At world level, the annual growth of the market is around 3%.

France, despite a favourable climate in the southern regions, is finding it extremely difficult to assert itself in the face of a foreign competition that supplies almost all the products consumed in the national territory (according to data from the IOC, the International Olive Council). However, farmers are trying to adapt to new trends, especially with organic farming, and to differentiate themselves from each other via protected and controlled designations of origin.

The olive oil market in France is in strong growth, this market being mainly a consumer market. Indeed, France, which imports more than 95% of its olive oil has seen its consumption increase fivefold in less than 20 years.

The French are particularly fond of olive oil, not so much in terms of quantities but rather in terms of how they consume it. In France, as much for its price as for its virtues (anti-cholesterol, dietetic, etc.) olive oil is considered as a lavish "product" and its quality is often high. Moreover, the most appreciated type of olive oil is extra virgin oil.

1.2 The world market is dominated by the Mediterranean

According to the  IOC, the world consumption of olive oil is estimated at *.* million tonnes in **** . An increase of olive oil consumption in **** is noted, particularly in Russia (***). This consumption gives rise, according to the magazine Agra Food to an annual turnover of approximately ** billion euros .

As shown in the graph ...

1.3 The olive in France: a market of consumers rather than producers

Consumption is largely imported

According to IOC, over the last five years France produced on average only *** *** tonnes of olive oil which in **** represented only *.*% of the country's consumption. This low figure can be explained by the difficult acclimatization of the olive tree in France and by the low yields of ...

1.4 The impact of Covid-19 on the olive oil market

Olive farmers and olive oil producers have been hard hit in almost all producing regions. In Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal and Tunisia, France, Turkey, Croatia, Lebanon, Syria - especially regions where olive growing and olive oil production is an important part of the economy and culture.

In the survey whose results ...


2.1 Olive oil struggles to establish itself in France

Olive oil is still consumed at a low level compared to other Mediterranean countries

The consumption of olive oil in France in **** is of ***,*** tons. This figure puts France in the third in Europe of olive oil consumers in absolute terms, far behind Italy (***), compensated by a more significant population.

Olive ...

2.2 Organic olive oil on the rise

Some producers offer ranges of low-fat or organic olive oils. The organic olive oil sector is  growing. The tasting of olive oils, as one could do with a wine, is becoming more and more commonplace. The company Oliviers & Co has positioned itself at the top end of this organic olive oil ...


3.1 Value chain and competition

The olive oil value chain in France

Source: ****

The diagram above illustrates the olive oil production chain, from the olive grove to the final consumer. Several actors can intervene during the production process: supermarkets, mills and cooperatives and olive producers.

The olive oil production process is still not very mechanized. The ...

3.2 French production is carried out by a few regions

France represents the northern limit of olive oil production in Europe. France has ** olive oil production basins, * of which are classified as PDO (***): Nyons, Vallée des Baux de Provence, Aix en Provence, Haute Provence, Nice, Nîmes, Corsica, Provence. France has about **,*** hectares of olive groves including **,*** in the PACA ...

3.3 The difficulties of French production

French olive oil production in question

French production represents a very small proportion of French olive oil consumption - around *%. However, this production itself is now in danger after several years of difficult production conditions, resulting from bacteria and flies attacking the olive crop. In fact, production in **** was only a ...

3.4 An oil market dominated by private labels with low margins

French producers are not the only ones with such designations. There are ** Spanish PDO for green olives green olives, * PDO for black olives, and in Italy, ** PDO for green olives, * for black olives and * PGI (***) [***].

The distribution of olive oil in France seems to be captured to a very large extent ...


4.1 Typology of olive oils

There are four types of olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil:  it's the best quality olive oil you can find. It has a very low acidity level (***). It has a strong taste and aroma. Virgin olive oil:  is an olive oil of superior quality but with an aroma that may contain ...

4.2 Wholesale oil prices that fluctuate with harvests

    Evolution of olive oil prices World, ****-****, in dollars Source : FMI  

The graph above represents world prices for extra virgin olive oil. These price variations, depending on many factors, are reflected in the prices paid by the final consumer. This volatility can be explained by the fact that olive oil production ...

4.3 Retail price of oil for the French consumer

Olive oil prices

We will distinguish between four different types of oils: entry-level oils, private labels, specialty brands, and high-end oils. For the most part, we will rely on the carrefour website and compare the price per litre of oil. Please note that, apart from the entry-level oils, all the ranges ...

4.4 Moving up in the oil market

The producers of bottled olive oil try to boast the authenticity of their oil and its heritage of the Mediterranean "terroir".

With the pressure on olive oil supply, despite the slight decline in French demand, some producers offer high-end products with supposedly higher quality than their competitors.

Olive oil producers are ...


5.1 Strict oil regulations for information purposes

A coded label

In the European Union (***), the sale of olive oil to final consumers is highly regulated, particularly on the issue of labelling and product information. The EU provides a legal framework through three regulations in force:

Implementing Regulation (***) No **/**** of the Commission of ** January **** on marketing standards for olive ...


6.1 Segmentation

  • Lesieur
  • Bunge
  • Unilever
  • Deoleo
  • Groupe Avril
  • Benedicta (groupe Kraft Heinz)
  • Mediaco Groupe
  • Puget (Groupe Avril)
  • Carapelli
  • Tramier
  • Oliviers & Co
  • Moulin Castelas
  • Moulin Margier (Domaine La Michelle)

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