In Spain, the world's leading olive oil producer, supermarkets are resorting to extreme measures as the price of this liquid gold skyrockets. With some bottles reaching 14.5 euros, theft is on the rise, prompting anti-theft devices on olive oil shelves.
Ruben Navarro, president of Tu Super, shared insights, revealing a 150% price hike in the last two years due to drought impacting the harvest. Organized crime is capitalizing on this, stealing olive oil for resale.
Tu Super took an extreme but effective step, chaining and locking five-litre bottles since September. Other chains like Carrefour and Auchan in Madrid are also boosting security, with one-litre bottles now requiring employee assistance.
STC, a Spanish anti-shoplifting solutions provider, notes a 12-fold surge in supermarket orders for olive oil bottle protection. Even the police are involved, arresting two individuals in October for the theft of 56 tonnes of extra virgin olive oil.
In Spain, the world's biggest olive oil producer, supermarkets are locking up bottles of the staple cooking oil as prices surge and theft increases https://t.co/aXd5XGPyUi— Reuters (@Reuters) November 20, 2023
Traditionally, Spanish families bought olive oil in bulk, but the soaring prices have forced a 17% drop in September sales, according to NielsenIQ. However, this crime wave extends beyond olive oil, with a 30% increase in retail theft in 2022 and an additional 12% spike in 2023, as reported by the CEOE.
In Spain, stealing items under 400 euros goes unpunished unless the offender is a repeat offender, adding complexity to the fight against theft in supermarkets.
[With information sourced from capital.gr]