Extra-virgin olive oil has become extra-expensive. Too much for the Italians. Faced with the increase in prices, from 4 euros to 9 euros per bottle in one year, one in three Italians have stopped buying olive oil, according to a survey by the Piepoli Institute published by the Italian daily Courrier della Sera.

According to this study, 45% of those questioned said they had replaced olive oil with cheaper seed oil. In most cases, this ersatz is only used for cooking, but some Italians say they also use it to season their dishes.

According to Eurostat data, the price of olive oil in the EU has increased by 50% since the start of 2024, with growth of 45% in Italy alone. The cause in particular is the long drought which hit Spain at the start of 2023. The country, which alone covers 50 to 60% of world production, saw its yields collapse by 60%. In response, prices skyrocketed.

Questioned by the Italian daily, Zefferino Monini, CEO of Monini, a historic olive oil brand in Italy, expressed concern. “If the drop in consumption continues, it will take time to recover,” assures the business leader before being more optimistic: “We expect prices to return slowly, this will largely depend on how things go of this year’s harvest.”

According to the Piepoli Institute, the damage is done. This change in consumption habits could lead to a reduction in consumption of 40%, even in the long term. Enough to make Italian cuisine a little less tasty.