Avocado Oil Popularity Growing as Olive Oil Producers Face Ongoing Struggles
Food & Fibre
Food & Fibre

Avocado Oil Popularity Growing as Olive Oil Producers Face Ongoing Struggles

In the midst of a global olive oil shortage and rising prices, Global Sales + Marketing Manager at Grove Avocado Oil, Michael Cusack joins Dom George to discuss the burgeoning popularity and benefits of avocado oil as a viable culinary alternative. 

Representing New Zealand's largest avocado oil press, Cusack provides insight into why olive oil shelves are emptying, attributing it to "a 30% to 40% production decrease due to poor fruiting but also severe drought" in key olive-growing regions like Spain, Italy, and Greece. 

Cusack explains that avocado oil, historically more expensive than olive oil, is now becoming more competitively priced due to the latter's soaring costs. 

"With olive oil prices increasing we're seeing that [price difference] kind of shorten and sometimes even be cheaper." 

The health benefits of avocado oil are a major talking point, with Cusack highlighting its high monounsaturated fat content and oleic acid levels. He proudly states that New Zealand avocado oil boasts "the highest oleic content of any avocado oil in the world." 

The unique New Zealand process for producing extra virgin avocado oil is another focus of the discussion. 

"We are actually the first company in the world to go through and extract extra virgin oil from an avocado... just press the creamy flesh into what we know as our extra virgin, highest grade avocado oil." 

He explains that this meticulous process contributes to the oil's superior quality, as evidenced by the "two-star superior taste award" from the Taste Institute in Brussels, Belgium, a recognition highlighted by blind taste tests conducted by Michelin star chefs. 

Furthermore, the conversation delves into the practical uses of avocado oil in the kitchen, with its high smoke point making it ideal for cooking at higher temperatures without releasing harmful carcinogens. 

Cusack promotes the versatility of the oil through Grove's variety of flavoured infusions like chilli, lime, lemon pepper, and garlic, and assures listeners of its wide availability in supermarkets and online. By the end of the conversation, it's clear that avocado oil is not just a trend but an emerging staple in kitchens, with Cusack confidently stating, "As many little brothers do, they come through stronger." 

Listen to the full chat between Michael Cusack and Dominic George above.

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