Wiki Spanish Food editorial team
At present, consumer behavior has changed from a financial standpoint as a result of the crisis, which has made people extremely price sensitive. In the case of olive oil, 77% of consumers say they consider the price when making their purchase. However, they also look for quality. In fact, four out of every ten consumers make their purchases focusing first on value for money and then on other aspects, such as price and flavor, according to the consulting group Nielson.
Says Sebastián Rodríguez-Correa, Client Executive at Nielsen, “The consumer is very price conscious and has no problem using olive oil or seed oils at home. Their lack of loyalty poses a challenge for producers, who must use promotional strategies that always have their consent".
The consumer has developed the ability to distinguish between products that offer good value for money or a brand name and flavor, and they tend to favor those oils that are well-priced. This is one of the most important factors, since consumers no longer focus on brands and flavors, given the changes they've seen in prices. In the case of oil, this behavior was visible in the first quarter of the year. When consumers saw the price of a half of a liter of olive oil increase beyond the psychological barrier of three euros, they stopped buying it, acquiring 10% less compared with the same period last year. In contrast, when they perceived a decline in the price of a liter of sunflower oil, sales increased by 4% in that period.
An indispensable product
Olive oil in particular has many special qualities. It's the oil with the highest oleic acid content (74%). It also contains Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids, with a favorable 6-3 ratio. It helps prevent cardiovascular diseases, cancer and aging, and its vitamin E content has a positive impact on neuromuscular activity and on the skin.
Olive oil has been produced since Prehistoric times, around 6,000 BC. A yellow, transparent, aromatic liquid is extracted from the olive, the fruit of the olive tree, and can be used to dress, cook and preserve foods.
The olive oil culture has been linked to the Mediterranean since time immemorial, to the extent that one could say that where the olives groves end, so too does Mediterranean culture. There is an intense oil culture in southern Spain, as big as the area dedicated to olive groves.
Oil, and olive oil in particular, is clearly an indispensable product in Spanish households. Nine out of every ten consumers purchase it, and annual spending averages 56.1 euros per household. Moreover, each household buys a total of 20.4 liters of olive oil per year, purchasing 2.1 liters on average during every supermarket visit. This data illustrates the importance of oil for Spanish consumers as a basic component of the Mediterranean diet. In fact, 72% are willing to purchase a brand other than the one they usually buy if their's is not available at the store.
Oil is one of the most popular purchases when people shop for groceries online. Consumers who use the internet to do their food shopping generally buy oil, as well as other products such as bottled water, milk and juice. In the case of oil, 0.8% of sales are online.