Abstract: While U.S. consumption of olive oil has tripled over the past two decades, nearly all olive oil continues to be imported. Estimation of a demand system using monthly import data reveals that the income elasticity for virgin oils sourced from EU is above one, but demand for nonvirgin oils is income-inelastic. The demand for olive oil as a single product is price-inelastic. Differentiated by product characteristic and origin, olive oils are highly substitutable with each other but not with other vegetable oils. News about the health and culinary benefits of olive oil and the spread of Mediterranean diet contribute significantly to the rising demand.
See paper here: A new market for an old food: the U.S. demand for olive oil by Bo Xiong, Daniel A. Sumner and William Matthews
See also media article: The coming rise of pure, premium, American olive oil