Due to its beneficial effects on health, extra virgin olive oil is one of the basic ingredients of the Mediterranean diet. In fact, in addition to being the perfect condiment for the preparation of traditional Italian dishes, olive oil has unique nutritional properties that make it one of the most used products in Italian and international cuisine.
In recent years, Italy has strengthened its international reputation as a quality producer, thanks to the characteristics, genuineness and variety of Italian olive oil. About 500 different varieties of olives are produced in Italy. This high differentiation certainly depends on the climate and the conformation of the Mediterranean area. Also the highly professionalized EVOO production processes contribute to the overall quality, making Italian olive oil among the best in the world.
Furthermore, the supply chain that specifically deals with the first processing of olives also influences the high quality of Italian oils. One of the most important factors is the proximity of the oil mill to the growing area. This aspect, in particular, allows the products to be identified within a specific area or region (especially for DOP or IGP certified oils). The effort of Italian brands, in order to meet national and international market demand, is now resulting in an ever increasing trend of import-export volumes.
How to recognize an authentic Italian extra virgin olive oil
The organoleptic characteristics of extra virgin olive oil depend on several factors: the variety of olives, the place of cultivation, the harvesting period, processing, extraction and conservation techniques, among others. Detailed information on the label is therefore very useful in recognizing and purchasing a high quality product.
Using one or more varieties of olives, olive oils are obtained which differ in flavor, color and aroma. Starting from this consideration, it is appropriate to make a distinction between two types of extra virgin olive oils: monovarietal oils (or also called monocultivar) and blend oils.
A monovarietal oil is obtained from the pressing of a single variety of olives. Such product differs from the others for its strong personality, which strongly depends on the territory in which it is produced. Monocultivar oils, therefore, are made using only native olives that have recognizable organoleptic characteristics, carefully preserved for centuries (see for example Taggiasca olive oil by ROI, from Liguria, available in the Italian EVOO Marketplace) .
Olive oil blends, on the other hand, are produced starting from skilfully selected monovarietal oils, in order to obtain an excellent quality of the final product. Therefore, blends are not considered a second choice, but a solution capable of meeting the needs of consumers, both in qualitative and economic terms.
Import-Export of Italian olive oil: the trends of the world market
The latest data on import-exports of Italian olive oil are very positive. According to an analysis by Coldiretti, conducted on data collected in the first half of 2021, there was an increase of 5% in demand from foreign markets (Italy is the second world producer, immediately after Spain, with 315 million kilos of oil produced).
The increasing demand for healthy and wholesome food, especially during the pandemic period, is certainly one of the main factors that have determined a successful trend in 2021. Top quality extra virgin olive oil is definitely perceived as a healthy choice by people who are more attentive to the quality of their diet, resulting in a significant increase in consumption and, consequently, in the sales of EVOO.
According to the data from the last twenty years, the exports of Italian oil to the countries of the European Union has increased by 98% (almost half of the oil produced in Italy is destined for the European market). The Asian market also recorded a significant increase (+162% in the last twenty years). The United States, on the other hand, remains a confirmation: the North American market, in fact, continues to absorb almost a third of the entire production of Italian extra virgin olive oil, registering an increase of 73% in the last twenty years.
Italian EVOO brands selection: online wholesale marketplace
Italian Food News provides international food buyers (distributors, importers, wholesalers, retail and foodservice) with a digital marketplace dedicated to import-export with the aim of facilitating product research and direct contact with top-quality Italian brands, including EVOO and flavored oil producers.
Visit the "Olive oil" section of the Italian Food Marketplace and find out what are the best business opportunities offered by top quality brands: