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Olive Oil Is About to Skyrocket in Price

Production has tanked due to last summer's heatwave in Europe.

At a time when U.S. consumers are still grappling with "eggflation" and higher food costs in general, the last thing you want to hear about is yet another looming price spike on a popular grocery item.

Unfortunately, that's just what's currently happening with an important kitchen staple you probably shouldn't cut back on: olive oil.

The nutritional powerhouse and most fundamental element of the popular Mediterranean diet is facing a major shortfall in production, due to a record-breaking heatwave in 2022 that severely impacted Europe's predominant olive-growing regions, according to Food & Wine.

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The world's two top-producing countries, Spain and Italy, both expect to produce significantly less oil this season. Italy projects a drop of 37% while Spain could be down as much as 30 to 50%, according to a report by Italy's Institute of Services for the Agricultural and Food Market.

As a result, Dusan Kaljevic, CEO of popular olive oil brand Filippo Berio, told Food & Wine that shoppers can expect to see prices surge as much as 30 to 50%.

Olive Oil Times reports that prices at the source have increased in several European counties over the past year, with Spain up 60%, Italy up 51%, and Greece up 42%.

Mental Floss notes that the shortage comes at an "interesting time," as retail giant Starbucks will soon roll out its new Oleato line of olive oil-infused coffees, which could "in theory, drive demand for olive oil further."

Producers have warned of rising prices ever since the European heatwave began to wreak havoc on crops last summer.

Some U.S. shoppers have already noticed big changes in the checkout line. One Costco shopper on Reddit this week reported paying $14.49 for two bottles of Italian-produced extra virgin olive oil last May, while a single bottle of same variety this month cost $17.99: "250% inflation!"

Chris Shott
Chris Shott is the Deputy Editor covering restaurants and groceries for Eat This, Not That! Read more about Chris