Availability of Counterfeit Olive Oil Raises Concerns in Food and Beverages Market

Published Date : Jan 08, 2016

Being a key ingredient of the Mediterranean cuisine, the demand for olive oil has witnessed a surge in the recent past. Changing food habits, coupled with globalization has led the demand for olive oil to increase across Asia Pacific and North America. Growing awareness about the associated health benefits of olive oil such as reducing risk of cancer, fighting depression, minimizing chances of cardiac diseases, and preventing osteoporosis has further propelled the growth of the olive oil in food and beverages market. Though olive oil is used across various industries such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, its demand from the food and beverages sector has been the highest. 

Limited production environment has been one of the biggest restraining factors for the growth of the global olive oil for food and beverages market. Mediterranean countries such as Spain and Italy are the chief producers of various types of olive oil such as refined olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil, and others. Spain and Italy together account for more than 55% share in the global olive oil for food and beverages market. However, lately there have been concerns regarding the availability of counterfeit olive oil in the market. Counterfeit olive oil is usually produced across countries in North Africa, Syria, and Turkey. The oil is falsely claimed to be genuine Italian extra virgin oil. The counterfeit olive oil market is estimated to be worth millions of euros.

To safeguard the genuine olive oil market across Spain and Italy, the European Union has introduced measures to help monitor imports of olive plants. A recent fraud was uncovered with Italian police seizing 7,000 tons of olive oil that was falsely claimed to be genuine Italian oil. The fake oil is usually sold across Europe as well as Japan and the U.S.