Olive oil is high nutritive product extracted from the fresh olive fruits. Olive oil is the key component of Mediterranean diet, found in countries such as Spain, Greece and Italy. It is commercially manufactured by crushing or grinding olives and extracting oil from it through various chemical and mechanical process. The health dominating properties has led this product to hold a promising future. It possess omega-3 monounsaturated fatty acid and antioxidants which replaces saturated and trans fats and stimulates health benefits such as it helps in maintaining health cholesterol level, reduces breast cancer risk, helps to prevent stroke, lowers the risk of depression, protect liver and many others (prevent from acute pancreas, protects from ulcerative colitis etc.).
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Globally, Spain and Italy are the highest consumer of olive oil followed by the U.S. The demand for olive oil is also increasing in developed countries such as Europe and North America. While the BRIC (Brazil, India, China and Russia) countries have also shown the vigorous growth towards the acceptance of this product. Among BRIC countries India and China is expected to be one of the largest consumer in the near future. In the current scenario the consumption rate of olive oil in India stands at 10,000 to 13,000 tons annually and is projected to grow at a significant growth rate. This is expected to remain same for the next five years.
Traditionally in India the high saturated fatty oil such as ghee or vanaspati were used but due to rise in health concerns, the consumption pattern changed towards vegetable refined oil such as sunflower, soybean, or corn oil. This trend remained continued in the Indian perception and thus they shifted their demand towards olive oil. Thus, increasing health awareness, strong economic growth and exposure to western lifestyle in the recent years among the wealthy and middle income group has fuelled the market growth of olive oil in India. Additionally, awareness of the consumers towards various grades of olive oils and their beneficial uses has also drive the demand of Indian market for olive oil.
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However there are some restraining factors which are effecting the Indian market growth for olive oil, such as commercially olive oil are not manufactured in India it is specifically imported from Spain or Italy, due this it incurs high cost and sold at high price in the Indian market. Moreover, the Indian trade standards for olive oil are outdated and obsolete. It does not aligned with the trade standard of Codex, EU, IOC and others. Thus it creates problems for manufacturers and importers to sell and market this product in India.
The key consumers for olive oil includes food industry, beauty care and cosmetic industries and pharmaceutical industries and end consumers. As an edible product olive oil is offered to the end consumers on the basis of its nutritional value, tastes and packaging. In broad terms olive oil comprises of six types which includes olive pomace oil, extra virgin olive oil, pure olive oil, refined olive oil, light olive oil and virgin olive oil. The extra virgin olive oil is considered to be the best quality as it possess less than 1% acidity level and rich in antioxidants. It is extracted from the fresh olives at first cold pressing. In India olive pomace oil dominates the market in terms of consumption as it is considered to be most suitable for Indian cuisine and does not change its flavour or aroma at the time of preparing food.
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The key Players in Indian olive oil market comprises of Borges Mediterranean Group, Figaro, Farrell, Del Monte Foods, MIMI’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Oleev, Unilever Group (Bertolli), Dalmia Continental and others. Among all these Figaro, Lenardo, and Borges constitutes 60 percent market of Indian olive oil.