Olive oil preferred choice for 55+

The market for olive oil is the fastest growing in the oil and fats market in the UK, and has the potential to appeal to those aged 55 and over due to its age-aligned benefits, Canadean reports.

The UK’s oil and fats market is valued at £420 million and is forecasted to grow further. Older consumers aged 55 and above consume 33.6% of oils by volume, which is at least twice as much as any other demographic group. As the UK’s population is ageing and Britons are living longer, the influence of consumers who are over 55 years old will further increase.

The UK’s older population consumes oil as they desire better value for money and the functional benefits of oils. To raise value of the product and appeal to older consumers, manufacturers need to tap into motivators that are important to this age group, such as looking for individualism.

Safwan Kotwal, analyst at Canadean, says, “This need is driving rapid growth in olive oil consumption, which also helps older consumers tailor their cooking to meet their specific nutritional needs. The elderly tend to be more concerned about their health and will seek oils that have less ‘harmful’ ingredients such as cholesterol and trans fat.”

Currently, olive oil holds 16.3% of the oils market by volume, but is surpassed by vegetable and sunflower oils which account for two thirds of the market. However, across all categories, olive oil is expected to register the highest growth driven by its nutritional benefits and the perception of olive oil being a premium food ingredient.

“These advantages make this product attractive to 55+ consumers. As they get older, they become more concerned about what they eat. Also, more leisure time and the habit of scratch-cooking means they are prepared to seek out the best ingredients,” adds Kotwal.

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