The global olive oil market, which includes different types of oil such as virgin, extra-virgin and pomace, grew despite the difficulties encountered in 2020. The Italian market in particular saw an increase in domestic demand, with families spending more time cooking traditional dishes at home due to pandemic-related restrictions, although this was contrasted by a drop in demand from closed restaurants and catering services.

In 2020, the value of Italian olive oil production reached 2.07 billion euros, and exports showed a positive trend, with a 15.6% increase in value to non-European countries and aeuropean countries and by 24.7% to European countries, despite earlier difficulties due to US import duties on Spanish olive oils which had an impact on the market. The country's export market was highly concentrated, with the USA, Germany and France being the main importers of Italian olive oil. Imports came mainly from Spain, Greece and Tunisia, with imports worth USD 1.52 billion and exports worth a slightly higher USD 1.604 billion in 2020. The overall market continued to grow, with the global olive oil market expected to reach a value of 16.64 billion USD by 2027, forecasting a stable CAGR of 3.2%.

Key producers such as Carapelli, De Cecco and Bertolli remained important market players, with Carapelli generating sales of 247.6 million euros in 2020. The pandemic also catalyzed trends, with record worldwide consumption of extra-virgin olive oil in 2020 estimated at 3.1 million tonnes, an 86% increase on the previous year. Despite this, price fluctuations and a global price crisis have affected the cost of olive oil and the profitability of producers, resulting in the average monthly expenditure of Italian families on olive oil fluctuating slightly, but ultimately declining as a result of these price dynamics.

Demand trends in the Italian olive oil market

Italy has long been synonymous with olive oil, a staple of the Mediterranean diet and a product increasingly sought after worldwide for its health-giving properties. The Italian olive oil market has experienced significant trends in recent years, despite a tumultuous period marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and the commercial challenges that preceded it. The Italian olive oil industry went through a difficult period due to an acute price crisis that threatened the profitability of olive growers. This financial distress was compounded by the imposition by the United States of tariffs on Spanish olive oil imports, creating a knock-on effect that also affected Italian producers.

As a result, Italy saw a drop in production value of around 15-20%. However, the situation changed in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in domestic demand. With restaurants closed and containment measures in place, Italian families spent more time cooking at home, in search of traditional ingredients such as olive oil. This change in consumer behavior led to a spike in demand for olive oil, with a significant increase in both local consumption and international exports. Specifically, exports to non-European countries such as Australia, Brazil and Canada increased substantially.

In particular, the explosion in demand reached an all-time peak in 2020, an increase of over 85% on the previous year. Despite this, pandemic-related restrictions are estimated to have cost the Italian olive oil market a substantial sum, running into billions of euros. Geographically, demand for olive oil in Italy varies from region to region. Spending trends indicate that central and southern Italy have a greater propensity to consume olive oil than northern regions, in line with the traditional predominance of the Mediterranean diet in these areas. Despite these challenges and fluctuations, the Italian olive oil market shows resilience and potential for future growth. The recovery in 2020, thanks in particular to exports, proves that Italian olive oil continues to maintain its worldwide reputation The Italian olive oil market is graced by with a pantheon of leading brands that have not only carved out a place in local hearts, but have also made significant strides on the world stage.

A closer look at some of these iconic companies reveals a tapestry of tradition, innovation and unwavering commitment to quality that positions them as industry stalwarts.

  • Bertolli is a testament to an enduring heritage that spans more than 150 years. From a small family business, Bertolli has grown into an internationally renowned brand, claiming the title of best-selling olive oil on several continents. Its rich history underpins a philosophy that celebrates the love of nutritious, tasty food.
  • Olio Pantaleo dates back to the late 19th century, and began its journey as a modest olive oil producer. Today, it is an industrial powerhouse, packaging around 12,000 tons of olive oil every year. Thanks to Pantaleo's market dominance, the brand enjoys leadership in several countries, including Japan and the Gulf States, where its presence is both important and appreciated.
  • De Cecco may be widely known for its pasta, but its extra-virgin olive oil has also earned an enviable reputation, particularly among international customers. The brand's commitment to superior quality has enabled its culinary products, including its olive oils, to grace tables around the world with impeccable Italian flair.
  • Carapelli represents over a century of olive oil mastery. The brand is a symbol of dedication to quality, boasting a meticulous selection process for its olives, a forward-thinking approach to innovation and an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction. It is these qualities that have enabled Carapelli to become the preferred brand of connoisseurs the world over.
  • Olio Clemente has distinguished itself by emphasizing organic production, attracting the growing market segment that values sustainability and health-conscious food choices. The company has become synonymous with purity and respect for the environment in its offerings, adapting to the mindset of contemporary consumers.
  • Finally, Olio Desantis has found its place in the Northern European and Balkan markets. The brand has forged a solid reputation, relying on the innate quality of its olive oil to carve out a place in the hearts of a diverse clientele.

Each of these companies contributes significantly to the tapestry of the Italian olive oil market with distinct stories of heritage, innovation and relentless pursuit of quality. They are the guardians of Italian liquid olive oil

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Summary and extracts

1 Market summary

1.1 Definition and presentation

Olive oil is a natural oil which is obtained after pressing olives. Being the main component of the Mediterranean diet, and thanks to its health properties, olive oil is a food product with a promising future. Indeed, the related market represents one of the fastest growing compartments of the global food industry, and it can be segmented based on type (virgin, extra-virgin, and pomace), application (food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics), and geography.

The global olive oil market size was $13.03 billion in 2019, and it is projected to reach $ 16.64 by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 3.2% across the period.

In Italy, the market of olive oil has witnessed a critical situation during the pandemic. On one hand, with the lock down going on, Italian families spent most of their time at home cooking and preparing traditional dishes, including sauces, soups, and biscuits. Naturally, olive oil is the basis for their preparation and, taking also into consideration the many positive effects it may have on human beings, its demand upsurged. On the other hand, the regions of southern Italy, where olive oil is mostly produced, have not been capable of meeting average production standards (around 400,000 tons per year). For this reason, in 2020 Italy lost a position in the ranking of olive oil producers in favor of Greece, with Spain maintaining the lead. 

 However, the value of exports has increased during the year, experiencing a +15.6% in extra Eu countries and a +24.7% in European countries, and reducing the amount of Italy’s oil trade deficit. This represents a positive trend in the production of olive oil in Italy, whose market is expected to grow steadily until 2026.

The top three producers in Italy are Colavita S.p.a., located in the wider province of Campobasso and with a subsidiary in the USA, Filippo Berio, specialized in the production of virgin and extra-virgin oil, and Frantoio Franci in Grosseto.

1.2 Global Market Analysis

The global olive oil market was estimated at **.** Billion USD in ****, and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of *.*% during the forecasted period, reaching a value of **.** Billion USD in **** [***]. The graph below shows the trend that the global olive oil market will register according to the forecasted figures ...

1.3 The Italian Market

The Italian market for olive oil reached a value of *.** billion Euros in ****. The graph below shows the trend registered in the production value in the last * years.

Olive Oil Market - Production Value Italy, ****-****, in Billion Euros. Source: ****

Given the beneficial features that olive oil has related to health, ...

1.4 Import and Export Analysis

Considering the import and export analysis, the graph below shows the trend registered in importations and exportations in the last * years, as well as the coverage ratio between them. As it can be inferred from the graph, the value of importations was estimated at *.** billion USD in ****, while that of exportations ...

1.5 Covid-19 Impact

As explained in paragraph *.*, in **** the Italian olive oil market experienced a price crisis due to both lack of profitability in the sector and duties imposed by the United States on importation of olive oil from Spain, which however exerted a great influence over the parallel market in Italy. During the ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Demand Overview

Considering the demand of olive oil in Italy, it is worth analysing the quantity of goods produced and sold in the country. The following graph shows the trend that such a demand has witnessed in the last * years.

Olive Oil Market - Production Value of Goods Sold Italy, ****-****, in Tons. Source: ...

2.2 Demand Drivers

One of the main drivers for the demand of olive oil is constituted by the average expenditure that Italian families sustain for olive oil on a monthly basis.

Olive Oil - Average Monthly Expenditure Italy, ****-****, in Euros. Source: ****

As it can be seen from the graph above, the average monthly ...

2.3 Geographical Distribution of Demand

In order to analyse the geographical distribution of the demand for olive oil, it is worth considering average expenditure that families sustain for such a product on a monthly basis in the different Italian macro regions.


From the chart above, it can be inferred that the demand for olive oil ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Structure and Dynamics of the Market

In order to analyse the structure as well as the main dynamics of the Italian olive oil market, it is necessary to rely on the figures related to ATECO ***** - Production of Olive Oils. The following graph shows the trend in the number of companies specialized in such a sector operating ...

3.2 Value Chain


According to the value chain reported above, olives undergo a long process of treatments before being ready to be processed and transformed into oil. Also, it can be noticed that there are different techniques that can be involved to carry out each phase of the process: for instance, when it comes ...

3.3 Main Players

The main players in the Italian market for olive oil are listed in the table below.


4 Analysis of the offer

4.1 Typology of the Offer

Depending on the degree of acidity, we distinguish extra virgin olive oil (***) from virgin olive oil from simple olive oil that has * degrees of acidity or more. The table below shows the main categories of olive oil, grouped according to their level of acidity.


4.2 Pricing

According to ECOICOP ***** - Olive oil - the graph below shows the trend registered in the consumer price index in the last * years.

Olive Oil Market - Consumer Price Index Italy, ****-****, in Base **** = *** Source: ****

Even in this case, there are just small fluctuations in the value, which also highlights the ...

5 Rules and regulations

5.1 Regulatory Framework

Dealing with the regulatory framework related to the production of olive oil, one of the main interests is to guarantee a high quality of the products supplied in the market. Therefore, the European Union has introduced a series of regulations aimed at codifying the main categories of olive oil. Such a ...

6 Positioning of the actors

6.1 Segmentation

  • Bertolli
  • Pantaleo
  • De Cecco
  • Clemente
  • Monini
  • Carapelli
  • Costa d'Oro (Avril Groupe)

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De Cecco
Costa d'Oro (Avril Groupe)

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