Source: International Olive Oil Council

For another year Americans raised their olive oil consumption, reaching 1.1 liters per person. Still, around 75 million Americans never use olive oil in their food. Total consumption last year reached 366,000 tons, with local production steady at 16,000, imports of 356,000 and re-exports of 6,000 tons. Virgin or the top quality, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) continue to increase their share against the lower quality Pure [cooking] and Pomace [refined] oil that comes from the muck after first cold press.

The sources of US imports in metric tons are broken down in the Table:

Origin Quantity Share Virgin/Extra Pure/Pomace Bulk
Spain 153,380 43.1% 69% 32% 50%
Italy 112,406 31.6% 78% 22% 5%
Tunisia   29,748 8.4% 85% 15% 85%
Turkey   20,768 5.8% 40% 60% 84%
Greece    11,292 3.2% 93% 7% 22%
So. Hem*   12,888 3.3% 99% 1% 95%
Others    14,500 3.4% 65% 35% 75%
Total 2019 356,000 100% 73% 27% 42%

*Chile, Argentina, Peru and Australia combined


Quick observations from the above link surprisingly show that only 58% of the olive oil consumed comes bottled from its place of origin, available in groceries stores. The rest (i.e. Spanish, Tunisian, Turkish and Southern Hemisphere) is either blended, bottled and branded in the USA or used in bulk by institutions, including restaurants.

Greece is not only the 3rd largest global producer of olive oil, but also the world’s largest exporter of EVOO due to the superior quality of its harvests. It has the highest per capita consumption of olive oil in the world at around 20L/year, double that of Italy and Spain.

Finally, when it comes to table olives, the US imports 171,000 tons, 40% of which come from 1st placed Spain and 20% from 2nd placed Greece.