Rapeseed crop

Is rapeseed oil winning over olive oil fans?

Almost 60% of Brits would consider switching from olive oil to rapeseed oil for either its health benefits or provenance, according to a new study.

The survey of 1,100 consumers – commissioned by rapeseed supplier Borderfields – found 35% of respondents would consider switching from olive to rapeseed after being told it contained less saturated fat than olive oil, while 23% said they would do so after learning it is produced in Britain.

“British consumers are becoming more educated on the health, economic and environmental benefits of rapeseed oil,” said Borderfields MD Ben Guy. “We are starting to see a real tipping point in demand.”

Guy added that Tesco, which stocks Borderfields, had seen sales of rapeseed oil increase by 60% in the last year.

But it wasn’t all good news for the rapeseed market – which has risen 11.5% by value [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 17 February 2013] – with 36% of consumers saying nothing would encourage them to buy rapeseed instead of olive oil.

The growth of rapeseed follows a dip in volume sales of olive oil after increases in retail prices brought on by cost hikes. Research by The Grocer last month revealed the volume price of branded and own-label olive oil lines stocked at the big four had soared an average of 23.4% year on year [BrandView].

Olive-oil suppliers have said the decline in sales was a temporary issue, and that shoppers would adjust to paying higher prices.