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July 2013

Oil consumption: 12.8 liters per person per year

Spain's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment (MAGRAMA) has completed a study on oil consumption by Spanish households which reveals that average consumption in Spain was 12.8 liters per person between June 2012 and May 2013, reflecting a decline of 2.8% in year-on-year terms.

Oil purchases represent 2% of the food shopping budget. In terms of types of oil, the study revealed that consumption of olive oil is highest, accounting for 70%, compared with sunflower oil, which accounts for 26.9% of sales.

In terms of types of olive oil, regular olive oil is the most popular, accounting for 41% of total sales; however, it also experienced the greatest decline in consumption (-9.9%). Households that buy this type of oil mainly comprise couples with older children, couples with no children, and retirees. By region, the greatest consumers are Galicia, the Canary Islands, Cantabria, Asturias and La Rioja.

Virgin olive oil ranks second in popularity. Moreover, per capita consumption of this product expanded by 1.7%, and average consumption was 3.69 liters per person per year. In this case, the consumer profile is couples with no children, couples with older children, and retirees who live in cities with over 100,000 people. By region, the biggest consumers are Andalusia, Madrid, Cantabria and the Basque Country.

Sunflower oil ranks third, with average consumption of 3.45 liters per person per year, i.e. up 3.6%. It is most often purchased by couples with teenage children and retirees in small towns of up to 10,000 people. By region, Galicia, Castilla y León and Cantabria are the greatest consumers.

More than 91% of oil consumed by households is purchased through dynamic distribution channels (hypermarkets, supermarkets and discount stores). Oil sales at supermarkets increased the most, by 3.8%. Other channels reported a decline in sales, especially traditional stores (-9.4%).

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