Over the past three decades, the global trend of olive oil consumption by country has experienced a noteworthy upswing. More and more individuals are opting to swap out traditional butter for this exquisite delicacy, resulting in healthier recipes and lifestyles. This also has had an impact on the need to increase olive oil production by country.
Per capita olive oil consumption by country
The world average olive oil consumption is 0.45 liters per person per year. However, olive oil consumption is higher in areas where the Mediterranean diet predominates.
- Spain, as a world leader in olive oil production and export, has a high consumption among its population. Specifically, each Spaniard consumes around 11 liters of olive oil per year.
- Greece, famed for its rich culinary traditions, goes even further with per capita consumption exceeding an impressive 12.6 liters annually. Olive oil, often referred to as “liquid gold,” is an essential ingredient in their recipes.
- Directing our attention to Italy, we find that olive oil is a cornerstone of Italian cuisine, with per capita consumption averaging at 9 liters per year.
But what happens when we leave the Mediterranean basin?
- If we cross the pond to go back home, we discover the United States as the primary non-European consumer of olive oil, averaging a consumption rate of one liter per person each year.
- In health-conscious Japan, where well-being and skin care are paramount, olive oil’s presence is significant. Their per capita consumption stands at around half a liter annually.
- Australia has seen a surge in local olive tree cultivation, leading to increased interest in olive oil. Over the past five years, per capita consumption has steadily risen to 0.19 liters annually.
- South America has also become an important consumer of olive oil. Taking Brazil as an example, per capita consumption has reached 0.35 liters annually.
The leading olive oil consumer
While Greece might seem the likely leader in olive oil consumption, it’s intriguing to note that the title belongs to San Marino, a small mountainous microstate surrounded by Italy. Here, residents consume an impressive 24 liters of olive oil per capita each year, equating to roughly one liter every two weeks. A testament to their culinary wisdom!
Undoubtedly, the dissemination of olive oil’s nutritional benefits has played a pivotal role in encouraging its consumption. As you experiment with incorporating olive oil into your recipes, you’ll quickly grasp why its popularity continues to surge year after year—whether through simple dishes or delectable cakes, the versatility of olive oil knows no bounds.