Global olive oil consumption has almost doubled in the last three decades. While traditionally consumption of olive oil was mostly concentrated in producing countries, it has also been on the rise in non-producing countries in recent years. Still, in 2018 the top 10 countries by per capita consumption of olive oil consisted of only Mediterranean countries. The consumption per capita in these countries ranged from 2.8 litres in Libya (#10) to 12.8 litres in Greece (#1). The large gap with other countries is best illustrated by the per capita consumption of 1.4 litre, 1.2 litre, 0.7 litre and 0.4 litre in Canada, Saudi Arabia, Germany and Brazil respectively.
Overall, the conclusion is that there is much room for growth of worldwide olive oil consumption, in particular in the countries without an olive oil tradition.
Following a model based on trade statistics and other variables, Saudi Arabia, Canada, United States of America, Brazil, Germany and Ukraine were identified as potential markets for olive oil exports from Lebanon (Figure 4).
While Saudi Arabia, Canada and the United States of America are among the top importers of Lebanese olive oil with a share of more than 45% in 2020, each of the other three countries imported less than 1% of the exported Lebanese olive oil.
The methodology includes a calculation based on total olive oil import value in 2020 and its growth in the previous 5 years, import value of olive oil from Lebanon in 2020 and its growth in the previous 5 years, tariffs faced by Lebanon compared to those faced by leading competitors in the market, concentration of suppliers, and projected average growth in GDP in the period 2021-2026 (Table 1).