In 2011, less than 2 percent of the olive oil consumed in the U.S. was produced domestically. California, which has more than 30,000 acres planted for the production of extra-virgin olive oil, aims to tip that statistic in the States’ favor. Why should this matter to shoppers? Because imported olive oil is not always what it seems. Inferior oils sometimes masquerade as extra-virgin with none of the healthful properties. Also, flavor diminishes as soon as olive oil is bottled. Therefore, the closer consumers can get to its source, the better.
Growth of U.S. olive oil consumption over the past decade.
Italy’s share of olive oil imports to the U.S.; Spain follows in second with 21.2%.
Estimated gallons of olive oil to be produced in the U.S. this year.
Estimated gallons of olive oil Americans will consume in 2013.
Estimated percentage of U.S. olive oil market supply that will be domestically sourced.
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Number of brands Spain’s Organization of Consumers and Users tested and concluded were misleading consumers by stating olive oil was extra-virgin instead of virgin.
Source: International Olive Council, California Olive Oil Council, Olive Center