1.1 Definition and presentation
Olive oil is an edible oil extracted from the fruits of the olive tree (i.e. olives), typical of the Mediterranean diet. Depending on the acidity of the oil and the extraction mechanisms, olive oil can be distinguished in different types, among the most famous: extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil, “lampante” olive oil, and refined olive oil.
Globally, the olive oil market is driven by Europe, where especialy Spain, Greece, and Italy consume and produce a significant amount. The US is the third largest market for consumption after Spain and Italy.
In the UK, all olive oil is imported. Moreover, about 40 percent is believed to be used in processed products, whilst the remaining part in bottled oil. [olivemarket]
Key players in the global olive oil market include Deoleo, Grupp Salov, Borges International Group, Sovena, Ybarra, Del Monte Food, and Cargill.
The UK consumer is increasingly interested in learning about olive oil, and we currently see a slow shift from traditional fats (butter) towards olive oil. Mercacei shows that certain consumers also show a larger interest in extra virgin oil due to its health benefits.
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