Health & Wellness: global growing factors
By Emanuele Fiorio
Italian oil is growing on a global scale thanks to the diffusion of the Mediterranean diet and the research, encouraged by the global pandemic, of healthy and sustainable food and lifestyle connected to the well-being.
The global demand of Italian extra virgin olive oil has registered a constant growth during the last 20 years, as it is demonstrated by the Istat data: the value export has doubled (+100%) and the Covid-19 Pandemic has impressed another acceleration caused by the higher attention and demand of healthy products which are able to grant the physical well-being.
In spite of the pandemic and the producing difficulties observed during 2020, according to the Istat data elaborated by Ismea, the Italian olive oil and pomace exportations have grown on a global scale by 5,7%. This fact is emblematic to indicate the resilience capacity of the sector, the potentiality of development and diffusion of our “green gold”.
Even more thrilling are the data regarding the exportations destined to European countries that between 2019 and 2020 have grown both in volume (+32%) and in value (+12%). The extra-UE export has grown by 17% in volume and by 3% in value.
Olive oil in total represents only 4-5% of the global fat consumption and this implies a great growth margin especially in countries where olive oil is not yet a traditional product.
The global extra virgin olive oil demand has experienced a jump due to different factors:
- the research of healthy and sustainable food, pushed by the health emergency caused by the pandemic,
- the tendency towards lifestyles connected to well-being and health,
- the higher awareness of the benefits given by a balanced nutrition,
- the positive effects on health connected to the consumption of extra virgin oil proved by numerous scientific studies,
- the growing interest and the diffusion of the Mediterranean cuisine.
This very growing diffusion and interest towards the Mediterranean diet, of which extra virgin olive oil is the uncontested symbol, has been pushed by the global tendency towards a healthy lifestyle and towards products that grant well-being and health benefits.
From this point of view, this year the U.S. News & World’s Report’s magazine put the Mediterranean diet at the first place, before other 35 different nutrition regimens, in the best diet in the world rank, before the flexariana and the dash.
The global oil growth is due to the growing success of the exportation of the Mediterranean diet base products (fruits, vegetables, pasta, wine). According to the Istat data, in the first seven months of 2021 it was registered a whole new record on national exportation (+56%) for these products.
The reasons why the Mediterranean Diet has been elected as the world’s best diet are connected to the effects that it grants to people’s health, in particular:
- longer life expectancy
- successful control and wight loss
- heart and Nervous system’s health benefits
- cancer and chronical illnesses prevention
- diabetes prevention
This record finds a practical validation on the fact that the Mediterranean diet allowed one of the longest life expectancy rate on a global scale: 79,9 years for men and 84,4 for women, even if the pandemic marked a U-turn in that tendency.