The price of extra virgin olive oil increased by 42% in six of the main supermarkets

Consumers are having to pay 42% more for virgin and extra virgin olive oil (Avoe) in the first nine months of the year.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
17 September 2023 Sunday 16:48
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The price of extra virgin olive oil increased by 42% in six of the main supermarkets

Consumers are having to pay 42% more for virgin and extra virgin olive oil (Avoe) in the first nine months of the year. Taking the average price as a reference, a liter of what is considered the liquid gold of Spanish gastronomy has cost 10.34 euros in September, compared to the 6.91 euros that consumers paid in January, according to data from the consumer association Facua. released this Monday. It must be remembered that olive oil is one of the foods included in the VAT reduction that came into force on January 1 and, therefore, the tax it bears is currently 5% instead of the usual 10% .

Oil continues to rise in price, both at source and on the supermarket shelf. The prolonged drought, as the main cause, has caused poor harvests. According to calculations by the Union of Small Farmers and Ranchers (UPA), this year between 50% and 60% less olives will be harvested. There is less supply and, therefore, consumers have to face higher and sometimes higher final labels. The National Institute of Statistics (INE) has been certifying this when it disseminates inflation data and it is confirmed by this study, which takes as a reference the prices that families have to pay when making purchases.

Facua compares the price of the same product on January 3 and September 4 in the same establishment. The differences are striking. Specifically, of the 68 virgin and extra virgin olive oils marketed in different formats (one liter, three liters, five liters, 750 milliliters, 500 milliliters and 200 milliliters in spray) there are price increases in 66. Only two are saved of the increase: the liter of Hojiblanca brand extra virgin olive oil sold by Eroski, and whose price remains at 8.30 euros, and the five-liter bottle of Carbonell brand extra virgin olive oil available at Carrefour. At the beginning of September it cost 36.95 euros, 35 cents cheaper than in January.

All the supermarkets analyzed, six in total, have raised the prices of their virgin and virgin olive oils. Always taking as a reference the average of the final labels, at Carrefour they grow 47%; in Alcampo, 45.1%; in Eroski they become 41.9% more expensive; and in Dia they increase 40.8%. In Hipercor, for its part, they have increased by 39.1% and in Mercadona, finally, by 38.6%. The study does not analyze the prices of Lidl or Aldi. The main distribution association, Asedas, which represents companies such as Mercadona and Dia, prefers not to comment on this study.

The consumer association detected in the first months of the year some increases that doubled the price. For example, the product that has increased its price the most in this time is the liter of Coosur brand Hojiblanca extra virgin oil. In Eroski it has risen 110.4% (from 5.69 euros in January to 11.99 euros in September) and in Alcampo, 110.3% (from 5.70 euros to 11.99 euros).

Facua denounces that the six supermarkets analyzed have raised the price of extra virgin olive oil by 85 cents more per liter than the prices at origin have increased. On store shelves, a liter has increased by 3.43 euros, according to the study, while at origin it has grown by 2.58 euros, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

The acting first vice president, Nadia Calviño, today took on the general concern about the high price of olive oil. In this sense, the Government hopes that the rains of these days are proving favorable to improve the quantity and quality of the harvest of the current campaign. The Minister of Economy has reiterated a call to the food chain to contain the price of "liquid gold" because, as she explained, "it is an important element for families' accounts."

"In general terms, the price of food in Spain continues to be below the countries around us. We have lowered VAT, we have taken all possible measures to help the sector so that this price increase does not occur and I count with food prices beginning to moderate. We have already begun to see it in August and I call for the responsibility of the entire value chain to help families at this time. Let's all pitch in," he argued.