According to recent data emerging from the seminar on extra virgin olive held in London and promoted by ICE and Unaprol, the value of edible oils and vegetable fats in the UK is estimated to be over £420m. Olive oil is the fastest growing segment and it represents 16.3 per cent of total volume of oils and vegetable fats consumed in the UK.
The world consumption of extra virgin olive oil represents only three per cent of total consumption of vegetable oils. However, due to its constant rising price, olive oil is considered to be “liquid gold” by many.
In addition to the indisputable nutritional and health benefits, an increasing number of chefs choose to use extra virgin olive oil and Italy is the third largest producer in the word.
What distinguishes Italian extra virgin olive oil the most from those of other countries is the range of flavours available (mainly due to different types of olive varieties cultivated and the unique climatic factors). Moreover, packaging and the Italian guarantee of origin (considered to be particularly prestigious) contribute to make Italian extra virgin olive oil particularly sought after.
Consumption of extra virgin olive oil has good growth potential in the UK market
Data presented at the aforementioned seminar shows that consumers in the UK with high purchasing power are prepared to spend more money to purchase “quality” olive oils with a certified origin. In British supermarket chains ‘own label’ olive oils represent 60 per cent of total olive oil sales by volume (55 per cent of total sales value). The remaining 40 per cent of sales of olive oil are international brands.
Price of a one-litre bottle of olive oil in the UK
In large retail chains in the UK, the price-range of one litre bottle of olive oil ranges from £3 to £9 but it can easily increase to £30 pounds in delicatessen shops.
How to become a professional extra virgin oil taster
In Italy, olive oil is a serious matter. So much so that in 1983 The National Organization of Olive Oil Tasters (ONAOO) was founded, the first olive oil tasting school in the world.
The school, led by Lucio Carli, trains people to become extra virgin olive oil experts, covering all aspects concerning olive oil, from production to marketing extra virgin olive oil and of course tasting.
At the end of the course, participants receive a certificate of attendance and one as a tester of extra virgin olive oil. Participants that successfully complete the course will be added to the national registry for extra virgin olive oils’ experts.
Registration for the forthcoming “Technical course for aspiring olive oil tasters” is now open (from 5 to 9 October), the course will be held in the city of Imperia (northern Italy).
This course can also be attended via the Internet. In this case, the ONAOO will send the participants a sample of all types of olive oils that will be discussed. Discussion with the teacher will be on Skype.
The school also offers courses in the United States, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey, Tunisia and Morocco, which also include trips to Spain, Greece, Morocco and Portugal. The next international event will be in August in Japan.
On September 13 at the Milan Expo Italian Pavilion, the Worldwide Olive Oil Tasters’ Challenge, the first international challenge for professional oil tasters, will take place.
Do You Want To Become An Extra Virgin Olive Oil Taster? – Speed read
– Olive oil is the fastest growing segment and it represents 16.3 per cent of total volume of oils and vegetable fats consumed in the UK.
– In large retail chains in the UK, the price-range of one litre bottle of olive oil ranges from £3 to £9 but it can easily increase to £30 pounds in delicatessen shops.
– Registration for the forthcoming “Technical course for aspiring olive oil tasters” is now open (from 5 to 9 October)
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