Consumer you go, (taste and preferences of the) olive oil you find

Who are the consumers of Italianolive oil, and what are their preferences? A study has tried to find theanswers


Italy has over 500 varieties of olive trees, grown in thousands of different terroirs, which guaranteeextraordinarily varied scents and aromas of extra virgin olive oil.

As much as the tastes of Italianconsumers in terms of olive oil, on the other hand.

Recently, the University of Turindecided to conduct an experiment to try to segment olive oil connoisseurs basedon their tastes and the type of this product they most preferred.

What were the results? Consumershave been grouped into three macro-classes - basic, popular and premium - and each of them corresponds to ratherspecific characteristics and preferences.


Let's explore them a little.


Basic classolive oil consumers are mostly made up of medium and large sized families,whose purchases are price-oriented, easily accessible, and who therefore do notmake a particular distinction between private labels and more well-knownbrands.

This group of buyers shows a markedpreference for olive oils with a delicate taste, bought mainly from large-scaledistribution.


Those belonging to the premium class, on the other hand,attach a high importance to high-end olive oil, with marked quality, intensesensory attributes and a strong link with the geographical origin. Furthermore,this group contains two groups that are particularly relevant for statisticalpurposes: families made up of two individuals (51%) and a limited presence offamilies with more than four members (9%), while there is an education levelequally distributed between high (51%) and medium-low (49%).


The range of buyers included in the popular class, on the other hand, areMade in Italy and make their purchases from large-scale distribution, but donot have sufficient knowledge to carry out real organoleptic evaluations of theproducts and, therefore, are unable to assign a price premium.


This study also ascertained, for thefirst time, how the attitude to prefer local products is influenced by thefamily context - thus suggesting that an intergenerationalbehavior is a great stimulus for the promotion and consumption of localproducts.

This data is demonstrated by a highpercentage of families with two individuals (53%), of southern origin (64%) andwith a high level of education (59%).

Additionally, there was someappreciation for bitter tasting olive oil for a niche group of consumers.


All of this- starting from the desire to carry out a specially designed study, up to theinteresting results on which to work for the future - demonstrates how much theworld of Italian olive oil is in constant evolution and already has all theprerequisites for grow, improve and expand further, thus bringing immense valueand prestige in the years to come.

Redazione Sol&Agrifood