Australian consumer attitudes to olive oil research project

A Deakin University research project will look at consumer preferences for olive oil.
A Deakin University research project will look at consumer preferences for olive oil.

A research project at Deakin University aims to better understand Australian consumer attitudes and preferences for olive oil.

The project is being conducted by Dr Sara Cicerale, with the assistance of Professor Russell Keast and Dr Gie Liem.

Dr Cicerale’s research interests include consumer perception, acceptance and preference of food; health benefits of a traditional Mediterranean diet; and non-nutritive food components. She is a member of the Deakin University Centre for Advanced Sensory Science (CASS), which is dedicated to helping the sustainable growth of the Australian food industry. The centre uses state-of-the-art facilities and renowned researchers to deliver high-quality sensory and flavour research, as well as training the next generation of sensory scientists.

About the research

An online survey, will collect information about consumer attitudes, preferences, behaviours, purchasing, usage and consumption of olive oil.

You can participate in the survey here.

The research is funded by Deakin University, and Red Island has provided four olive oil packs as incentives for survey participants.

Previous research on consumer preferences

Dr Cicerale conducted a similar survey in 2016 and reported the results in a chapter of the book Products from Olive Tree

Cicerale, Sara & Liem, Gie & Keast, Russell. (2016). Consumer Perception, Attitudes, Liking and Preferences for Olive Oil. . 10.5772/64554. The abstract of her results appears below, and you can read the full text as a pdf at

The consumption of healthful olive oil has grown considerably over the past 20 years, particularly in areas outside of Europe. To meet this demand, worldwide production of olive oil has doubled over this time period. Greece, Italy and Spain remain the major producers of this commodity; however, significant growth in production has also occurred in countries such as Australia and the US. Olive oil consumption is closely associated with the traditional Mediterranean diet. It is likely that the potential health benefits of using olive oil as a primary dietary fat have been a driver of increased intake, but undoubtedly other factors will be involved. An understanding of the factors that influence consumers’ perceptions, attitudes, liking and preferences for olive oil will be of benefit to the olive oil sector. Olive growers, olive oil manufacturers, packaging specialists and marketers, etc. can utilize these insights to aid in the development and delivery of olive oil products in line with consumer needs and wants, and help drive further growth in this sector particularly with regard to new and emerging markets. The following chapter details information on the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that have demonstrated an influence on consumer perception, attitudes, liking and preferences for olive oil.