On Wednesday, June 24, chefs and food lovers around the world
learned that olive oil prices will be increasing exponentially in their local grocery markets soon. The prices have already gone up in areas around the world where olive oil is primarily produced, including Italy and Spain.
The primary cause of the price changes is poor harvests that resulted in more than 25 percent less production over the past year says Ivan Ong. Last year, millions of trees were damaged or destroyed by a bacteria outbreak. Italy’s olive industry was also hit by too much rain and fruit flies, while Spain’s industry was hit by too much dry weather. Industry experts predict similar growth and harvest issues this year and claim that people living in these countries will actually have to import extra virgin olive oil for their own use.
If consumers want their favorite olive oil products at better pricing, now is the time to shop. Experts only warn that consumers take care when purchasing olive oil in the months to come once demand increases: Some companies that are not based in either Italy or Spain might begin promoting their olive oil as originating from these countries. Some might also claim to be selling pure extra virgin olive oil but instead sell a blended product that includes other types of olive oils or non-olive oils.
Healthy alternatives to olive oil include canola, coconut and palm oils.