UK Olive Oil Market in 2020 and Turkish Olive Oil in the UK

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  • Post last modified:February 20, 2021
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In this article, you will read the United Kingdom olive oil import data, the UK olive oil market, Turkish olive oil import performance in the UK and finally how to choose a good extra virgin olive oil, as a basic guide.

UK Olive Oil Market

British olive oil market is estimated around £250M and it has rising demand since a healthy diet is on the rise. Since the extra virgin olive oil is new hype, the quality of extra virgin is getting important every day.

let’s start with the 2019 Kantar UK oil market data, then we will move to the Turkish olive topic.

According to the data, in 2019 last year, extra virgin olive oil prices have dropped around 2% and it resulted in an extra 700,000 litres sales.

if Britons can catch a good deal on the good stuff, they don’t hesitate.

In addition to that, the price difference between extra virgin, virgin and refined has decreased to £1 and it resulted in a decrease in the sales of less quality olive oils.

Spain is the authority on the olive oil market and its prices. Spanish crop data and Spanish brands play a key role in the price of olive oil. This rule applies the same in the UK market and the Turkish market as well.

Global olive for oil production dipped by 5.5% to 3.1 million tonnes in 2018/19, it was a significantly larger crop than in 2016/17 and 2015/16. And in Europe, production was up 2% year on year – putting it 10% above the five-year average, according to European Commission figures. Hence, average shelf prices for branded extra virgin olive oil have dipped 6.6%, (kantar, 2019)

When you visit one of the big four retails in the UK, you find three distinct brands categories on shelves. Half of the products are retailer’s private labels, and thereafter Filippo Berio, Napolina and some boutique brands to complete the category.

“British supermarkets are very vigilant so the product that comes into the UK is of a superior quality,”

Walter Zanre, Filippo Berio

In addition to big brands, there are dozens of speciality product producers, startups, however, their price points (RSP) are easily separated from the big brands.

Top 5 oil brands in the UK are Filippo Berio – £35M, Napolina – £24M, Crisp’n Dry – £20M, KTC £19M, Fry Light – £16M respectively.

Filippo Berio pushes the prices awfully hard to penetrate further in the market. And, last year Filippo Berio added an extra £1.6m to its value in 2019 according to Nielsen data.

Brands vs Private Label?

  • Private label oil volume is £193.6M
  • Branded Oils volume is £162.5M

Before 2019 retailer’s brands and excellent value! products were the bestsellers. The reason is retailers like Tesco, Lidl, Asda applied big promotions and incentives to attract the consumers’ attention. But as always, it was a temporary effect.

Shoppers aren’t just driven by price – they are willing to pay a premium for genuine health benefits. Consumers are looking for value, of course, but they are also looking for inspiration and reassurance on health and education.

Mark Church

In the meantime, UK consumers are likely to keep buying extra virgin olive oil if the price is right. It’s still too early to tell what will happen with this year’s olive harvest, but “things are looking good so far”.

According to latest news, The Department for International Trade is more likely to remove the tariffs on olive oil in the event of a no-deal scenario, in order to prevent inflation.

So, what happens if Turkey and the UK sign a new free trade agreement in accordance with the result of the EU and the UK deal?

Turkish olive oil in England

We investigated the current Turkish import to the UK and investigated the profitability of the business.

Turkish oil is subjected to import duty that is 93p per kg

Overall Turkey has one hundred tonnes of import quota on olive oil tariff.

Now with the current EU trade agreement, Turkish olive oil is subjected to import duty that is 93p per kg and import quota is one hundred tonnes per year.

Turkish Olive oil imported to England in 2018 22 tonnes in total, in 2019 10 tonnes and since April this year, it is 28 tonnes in total, according to the HMRC data.

HMRC Overseas Trade Statistics

If you compare with the import figures of olive trade to the United Kingdom, in 2018 compared to the previous year, it increased by 41 per cent in terms of quantity, from 1,322 tons to 1,870 tons, and by 35 per cent in terms of amount, it reached 3.3 million pounds, and that was the target market for the Turkish olive and olive oil sector.

The reason is there is no customs duty on olive.

If you look at the HRMC statistics above, it has very interesting points to highlight in accordance with the Turkish olive oil import data.

Because of the pivot table, country details are unable to be seen, however, if you look at the Middle East line, there are £1.1M of olive oil imports and in details, Palestine has owned the £620k of olive oil trade which is very interesting if you haven’t noticed that before.

As we keep searching for further details of the Palestine – UK olive oil trade, we come across a free trade agreement between parties.

The agreement allows Palestinian businesses to continue access to the UK market tariff-free which will continue to benefit Palestinian producers in priority sectors, including exporters of fruit, nuts and vegetable fats including dates and olive oil.

UK Department for International Trade

This trade is very old and well known among the producers however It must come to an end.

There is another important trade that needs to point out which is Turkey – Greece – UK olive oil trade triangle, which is used by most Turkish producers by increasing numbers year by year. I’m afraid, there isn’t any data to show that, yet. We are going to update the article, once we dig into this hidden trade.

Recently we come across an olive oil container. According to the bill of lading, it was shipped from Greece. On the other hand, as we googled the name of the producer, it was in Turkey. This trade is very old and well known among the producers however It must come to an end.

Spanish olive oil sales decreased years from £130M in 2018 to £110M in 2019.

Let me give you another interesting date from the UK olive oil import data. Spanish olive oil import is slowing down in recent years from £130M in 2018, £110M in 2019 to by April £34M in 2020.

HMRC Overseas Trade Statistics

According to an article published on BBC in April 2020, “Researchers say the economic costs of a deadly pathogen affecting olive trees in Europe could run to over €20 billion. A deadly pathogenic disease, Xylella, is considered to be one of the most dangerous pathogens for plants anywhere in the world. At present, there is no cure for the infection.”

Specialty & Fine Food Fair 2019 and tasting event at Victoria Train Station

Turkish producers have to act very proactively in order to fill the demands by achieving free trade agreements.

Turkish Olive and Olive Oil Exporters Association attended the Specialty & Fine Food Fair 2019 fair held in London and organised multiple events at the fair in order to promote Turkish olive oil to visitors.

Last September at Victoria Train Station, Turkish Olive Oil Association organized an olive oil tasting event. I believe most of the Londoners who came across the event, enjoyed the free tasty olive oil incentive bottles and various promotional materials.

We hope the UK and Turkey agree on a free trade deal by the end of 2020 and this free trade agreement – FTA – enables high quality Turkish olive oil to enter to the British market and such other products and brands as well.

After overseas and market reports, here you can you see a basic guide below how to choose a good extra virgin olive oil and after that, we will look for the olive oil types that you read every day on the label but maybe you haven’t noticed the importance yet.

How to Choose a Good Olive Oil

Sourcing a great extra virgin olive oil is easier said than done. Not all of us has olive oil trees to crush the freshest olives to get purist olive oil or have an expert friend to ask for a recommendation. So here is a basic guide to choose for a good extra virgin olive oil by looking its label.

Olive oil can be one of the most fraudulent foodstuffs out there. In a report last year, Forbes found that nearly 80 per cent of Italian olive oil was fake.


Colour is not necessarily a determinant of a good olive, so experts instead uses mouthfeel and smell to judge.

The rule of thumb is every extra virgin olive oil should smell fresh or remind you of anything that smells fresh—fresh cut grass, herbs, or fresh tomatoes. If it smells like stale peanuts, mouldy cheese, or if you can’t smell anything, then it’s refined and not extra virgin.

Glass, plastic, or tin?

I would prefer ceramic bottles if it is easily reachable, but not. Tin bottles are the second-best option, it prevents the light from light and oxygen best. Dark glass bottles are good if you are not sure about the quality and would like to see the colour of the oil. but I would not prefer the plastic bottles at all times. It contains plastic migration risk.

Best Before Date

Two things are important. The year of harvest and best before date. This is because of the rancidity.

By the definition, the term rancidity refers to ‘off’ odours and flavours resulting from lipid oxidation or lipolysis (the breakdown of oils chemically or by lipase into constituent fatty acids). Here is research for your further readings.

So, if there isn’t any best before date on the bottle, simply don’t buy it. And look for the freshest available one.

The rule of thumb, the fresher the olive oil, the better it tastes and the higher the health benefits.

What is extra virgin olive oil?

In simple terms, it means the highest quality grade. It is just pure oil of fresh olives without any chemicals or preservatives added or had any heat reactions or chemically refined.

Good extra virgin olive oil has a low acidity level which is maximum of 0.5 per cent of oil.

Types of olive oil

After giving brief information about the types of olive oil, we will say Bon Appétit! Hope to write another topic about the healthy fats in the future.

There are also other types of olive oils available in the market. Virgin olive oil, refined – light – olive oil, riviera olive oil and pomace oil.

Simply prefer extra virgin olive oil for salads and mezes without heating the oil.

And use riviera or refined olive oil for your slow-cook meals or frying purposes.


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This Post Has 2 Comments

    1. Mahmoud Basri

      The Report is extremely useful.

      Please can you put me in touch with all importers of olive oil in the UK

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