10 Year Evolution Of Oil Trends

Posted by Hannah Broaddus

Recently, we reviewed The 10 Year Evolution of Healthy Food Trends, using consumer data aggregated online by Google Trends.

Today, we will do a similar review looking at the trends of different oils over time to see which oils have the most interest, when popularity spiked, and which oils consumers are most interested in today.

This will give your R&D department some new tools to be able to answer the common question, Which oils should we use? Or better put, Which oils do our customers want us to use?

Using this data you can see which oils are being most used, most talked about, and which have the most interest from consumers online.


The Trending Tools

Google trends is a tool that exists to show the evolution of trends over time. You can see the interest in a particular product (or keyword) over time — you can see when it was waxing or waning in interest, and connect it to industry events that may have caused sudden spikes or drops in popularity.

Google trends get their data from information like how many retailers are selling a particular product online, and how many consumers and companies are talking about it.

This tool is powerful for us in the oil industry; we are now able to map which oils have the most interest by gauging how much they’re being talked about online. While this tool doesn’t tell us everything (for example, it only incorporates information from the internet), it does tell us more than many other tools can about what consumers are interested in.


Oil Trends In Summary

Today, the oils that we will be reviewing data from include:

  • Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Soybean Oil
  • Partially Hydrogenated Oils


The Evolution of Oil Trends


Olive Oil


The topic of olive oil has slowly but steadily grown over time, especially increasing around 2011. This is the time that Tom Mueller’s Extra Virginity was published, olive oil and vinegar stores were popping up everywhere, and consumers began talking more and more about issues surrounding the olive oil supply chain.



Coconut Oil


Coconut oil trends have seen a steep incline from 2012 to today, with a few plateaus and large spikes in interest every few months. Today’ this increase in demand (along with declining supply) is affecting prices. For more information, read Supply and Demand in the Coconut Oil Market [A MARKET UPDATE].



Sunflower Oil


Sunflower oil has seen a slow increase in interest starting in 2012 — prior to then, it was reasonably steady.



Canola Oil


Canola oil has seen a slow increase in interest starting in 2011 — prior to then, it was reasonably steady.



Soybean Oil


Interest in soybean oil has steadily declined over time. Back in 2003, interest was rather high, but decreased from 2003-2009 pretty heavily. Since then, interest in this oil has been steady but low.



Partially Hydrogenated Oils


Interest in partially hydrogenated oils has followed a similar pattern to soybean oil — interest was high at first but decreased until 2009. Since then, it has remained steady but low.

Topics: Industry Trends



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