Despite the challenges Greek olive oil producers have been facing all through the last 14 months due mostly to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are nevertheless keen to participate in this year’s NYIOOC World Olive Competition, the largest and most prestigious olive oil quality contest in the world. In fact, according to the organizers of the event, 2021 has seen a record 1,171 entries from 28 countries!
Several factors were cited as reasons more producers decided to submit their oils to the 9th edition of the competition, but the most valid explanation would be the dramatic shift in olive oil consumption trends, boosted by the rising need to eat healthier and better –especially during a pandemic.
Greek olive oils in top 5 participating counties
The impact of the pandemic has not left even the olive oil sector unaffected. Greece’s –as well as many other countries’– hospitality sector has been shattered but staying at home gave the opportunity for culinary experimentation, so the use of olive oil in small retail packages increased dramatically at global level.
As a result, the NYIOOC awards, which are considered the authoritative guide to the world’s best olive oils, are seen as a way for producers to stand out from a crowded field and exploit the pandemic-borne trend toward quality products.
This year, Greek olive oil producer participation has risen 28%, with 161 products competing for the coveted accolades, putting Greece in second place among participating countries. It is worth mentioning that Mediterranean countries have shown significant interest in the 2021 NYIOOC competition with participation ranging from +25% to an impressive +173%.