What is the right price for an extra virgin olive oil?
What is the right price for an extra virgin olive oil?

Extra virgin olive oil is one of the best and most complete foods of the Mediterranean diet. Very often, however, consumers find it difficult to understand what the right price for this precious food is, since we find it on sale from a few to tens of euros per liter and in many different formats.

To simplify and shed some light, we can say that the price of extra virgin olive oil depends on various factors and we will analyze some of them below.


One of the most underestimated factors affecting the composition of the oil price is precisely the trend of the olive year. In fact, in agriculture not all vintages are the same and in some there may be an abundance of olives while in others a scarcity of the same. As you can imagine, in a year with many olives (and therefore a lot of oil) the price will tend to be lower, while in a year of low production the price will tend to rise.


The format and container in which the oil is sold also have an effect on the final sale price. In fact, we can almost universally say that the larger the format, the lower the price of oil per liter will be. Therefore, the price per liter of oil in a 5L can will almost certainly be lower than the price per liter in a 1L can.

In addition to this, the type of container can also change the final price. For example, there are oils sold on the market in hand-painted ceramic bottles, the high cost of which will consequently increase the price per liter of the oil contained in that container. On the contrary, simple glass cans and bottles are generally the least expensive containers and therefore have less impact on the selling price.


Another fundamental factor to keep in mind when talking about the price of oil is whether it has been produced and certified organically.

In fact, organic extra virgin olive oil generally has higher production costs than traditional oil. On a practical level, the organic products that can be used during production are generally more expensive and less effective than their non-organic counterparts, and therefore at the production level there is a higher cost due to the products used and a production that is sometimes lower in quantitative terms. since there is a risk that some of the olives will be lost due to the lower effectiveness of the same products.

For this reason, generally the price of organic extra virgin olive oil is higher than traditional oil.


Another element that participates in the creation of the oil price is acidity. In fact, acidity, that is the concentration of free fatty acids, is one of the fundamental parameters for evaluating the oil quality.

For this reason, "extra virgin" olive oil (or EVO), or oil with an acidity ≤ 0.8% (according to EEC Regulation no. 2568/91 and subsequent updates), is considered the type of higher quality oil, and therefore with a higher price than oils with higher acidity.


An often underestimated factor, marketing plays a fundamental role in creating the price of oil. In fact, as with any other food and non-food product, marketing and advertising expenses (which are used to increase the number of customers) always end up also increasing the selling price of the products since, if this were not the case, most some companies of any kind would work at a loss.


The more times an oil is bought and then resold before reaching the final consumer, the higher its price will be. This is because at each intermediate step there is a different economic player who earns. For this reason, buying oil directly from the producer is generally cheaper.


At this point we have seen how various elements, more or less obvious, contribute together to the creation of what is the final selling price of extra virgin olive oil. There would be many others, such as the cost of transport and logistics or the mark-up that each company decides to have on the sales of its products, but for simplicity we have preferred to mention just a few.

In conclusion, we hope to have given you some more information to help you navigate the jungle of offers that is the extra virgin olive oil market in Italy.