Olive Oil May Be the Next Grocery Item to Give You Sticker Shock

Like olive oil? You’d better not like it that much. Stuff’s getting expensive.
Like olive oil? You’d better not like it that much. Stuff’s getting expensive. / Scott Olson/GettyImages

In the latest twist to see if your monthly food bill can exceed your rent or mortgage, Food & Wine reports that your extra virgin olive oil could get substantially more expensive in the coming months.

According to the outlet, the main culprits are droughts and heat waves across Europe that have industry experts projecting a far lower crop yield than normal. In Italy alone, olive oil exports could see a 37 percent decrease.

Popular supermarket brand Filippo Berio is anticipating 20 percent less inventory than usual. As supply dwindles and demand remains the same, the company is looking at a 30 percent to 50 percent price increase.

The heat wave was covered in summer 2022, when the BBC reported that Spain, Italy, and Portugal were experiencing record temperatures and that a lack of water could stunt olive branch growth in the coming season. At the time, the price impact wasn’t immediate, because producers and distributors often have fixed pricing agreements. At Walmart.com, for example, a 16.9 ounce bottle of Filippo Berio is currently priced at $7.24.

Olive oil joins eggs as the primary grocery items that are siphoning money from consumers. It also comes at an interesting time: Starbucks is gearing up for a nationwide rollout of its Oleato line of olive oil-infused coffees. That could, in theory, drive demand for olive oil further, though reception has so far been mixed on the coffee-oil combo.

“After a few sips of each [drink], it felt like too much,” CNN reporter Danielle Wiener-Bronner wrote of a taste test. “Starbucks describes the drinks as lush and velvety, thanks to the oil. But to me they just started to feel weighed down.”

[h/t Food & Wine]