The consumption of healthful olive oil (OO) has grown considerably over the past 20 years, particularly in areas outside of Europe. To meet this demand, worldwide production of OO has doubled over this time period. Greece, Italy and Spain remain the major producers of this commodity; however, significant growth in production has also occurred in countries such as Australia and the US. OO consumption is closely associated with the traditional Mediterranean diet. It is likely that the potential health benefits of using OO as a primary dietary fat have been a driver of increased intake, but undoubtedly other factors will be involved. An understanding of the factors that influence consumers’ perceptions, attitudes, liking and preferences for OO will be of benefit to the OO sector. Olive growers, OO manufacturers, packaging specialists and marketers, etc. can utilize these insights to aid in the development and delivery of OO products in line with consumer needs and wants, and help drive further growth in this sector particularly with regard to new and emerging markets. The following chapter details information on the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that have demonstrated an influence on consumer perception, attitudes, liking and preferences for OO.
Part of the book: Products from Olive Tree