Olive Oil finds favour with Indian consumer

from: Baishali Mukherjee

Kolkata, January 03:

From the most popular oil for baby massage in the urban Indian household, Olive oil seems to be graduating to be a regular cooking oil, which does not only care for heart but also for overall health, in the Indian market. The share of olive oil in the overall edible oil market may still be close to 1 per cent, but the current growth rate is well over 20 per cent annually.

The category, which stood at nearly 3,000 tonne about 5-6 years ago, now stands at over 15,000 tonne today. With a growth rate of  nearly 20 per cent annually, the category is surely catching onto the Indian masses. India consumes at least 15 to 18 million tonne of edible oil and therefore there is enormous scope to grow the category exponentially, if consumer awareness can be created around olive oil and its health benefits, feel sector analysts. With new entrants surfacing in the market, the battle is hotting up and the category is becoming highly competitive and even more price-sensitive. There are nearly 90 olive brands currently competing against each other including some of the biggies like like Borges, Leonardo, Solasz, Del Monte, RS, who operate in the premium category. 

“Olive oil is rightly called the liquid gold as it’s one of the healthiest fat in the world that can be consumed. Olive Oil has 4 popular types Extra Virgin for salads & sautee, Extra Light and Pomace for frying and Pure Olive oil for massage. The current Indian scenario is supportive for the category to grow owing to the growing health awareness and the increased adaption of the healthy lifestyle. Mind you that the olive oil industry in India today is far more evolved from what it was 8-10 years ago,” said Rohit Dubepatil, director, Sengee Biochem Exim Pvt Ltd, one of the leading importers of olive oil under the SOLASZ brand.

“Our recently launched Olive Oil chavanprash is a perfect mix of gooseberry and Extra Virgin Olive Oil with medicinal spices. It’s not just a revitaliser but a “Good for Health & Heart” product. All the products have been recently launched under the SEMONTE brand. With its Plum Jam, Spiced Peanut butter other spreads all having honey and olive oil make a perfect combination of health and taste. People using olive oil are less prone to heart ailments and that’s what makes it a great oil,” he added. 

“The increase in the imports is an indicator of the increased consumption and penetration of this category in India. We see an increased movement towards Extra Virgin olive oil, which is used for salads and as a healthier substitute to butter. It is a far more superior product owing to its quality and health benefits it brings due to the presence of 75-80 per cent monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), antioxidants and Vitamins E and K. And with the new players focusing on this, the category is expected to grow many-fold in years to come,” said a sector analyst.

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