Liquid gold: How the price of extra virgin olive oil in Spain surged by 70% last year

EXTRA VIRGIN olive oil prices rose by an average of 69.3% in Spain’s supermarkets last year according to a study carried out by the Facua consumer association.

It analysed 18 brands with Facua saying that their findings run contrary to claims from manufacturers and supermarket chains that the increases are solely down to rising source prices.

Facua suggests that store prices rose by up to €2.54 per litre more than at the origin of the product.

According to Facua’s analysis, the highest increase in extra virgin olive oils was in Carrefour, with an average increase of 75.8% among the 12 products analysed, followed by Alcampo with an increase of 73.9% among the 15 oils monitored and Eroski, which presents an average increase of 71.3% among a sample of seven products.

In Hipercor, the increase detected by the organisation during the last year has been 69.2% among a selection of 12 extra virgin oils, while in Dia it was 68.2% on a sample of 11 products.

At Mercadona, the average price increase was 57.3% of the four items covered by the study.

The biggest rise over the last year has been detected in a litre of Coosur Hojiblanca brand extra virgin at Eroski, which increased its price by 154.8%, going from €5.69 in January 2023 to €14.50 this month.

The second largest increase was recorded in the five-litre bottle of Carbonell extra virgin in Alcampo, which has gone from €25.72 to €60.68- a 136% hike.

Facua has once again called on the Ministry of Social Rights, Consumption and Agenda 2030, to open an investigation into the ‘illegal increases in profit margins’ that are presumably taking place both in olive oil and in many other foods affected by the government’s VAT reduction.

They say the Royal Decree-Law establishing this measure and extended until mid-2024, prohibits profit margin increases.

The Facua analysis indicates that extra virgin olive oil has risen during 2023 to €2.54 per litre before taxes.

Thus, the average price of a litre of extra virgin olive oil in the supermarkets surveyed has gone from €6.91 in the first month of 2023 to €12 in January 2024.

The average price per litre at source, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, has gone from €4.91 in the first week of January 2023 to €7.45 in the week of 10 to 17 December 2023 (VAT not included), according to the latest published data.

Facua stresses that taking these figures into account, the average increase in extra virgin olive oil in one-litre plastic bottles has been 73.6% over the last year (69.3% if all formats are taken into account), while the increase that has occurred at origin has been 51.7%.

Therefore, the price rise registered during 2023 in supermarkets is up to 22% more than what has been paid to farmers.


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