olive oil are now being sold for as much as 14.5 euros ($15.77) in some supermarkets. This has led retailers to place security tags on olive oil bottles, alongside items like spirits, cosmetics, and appliances to prevent shop-lilting and thefts, according to a Reuters report.
The price of olive oil has risen by 150% over the past two years, mainly due to a scorching drought in south Europe, which is a major producer.
Apart from Spain, other major olive oil producers include Italy, Greece, and Portugal. Households relying on the oil have been feeling the price pinch. Spain is the world's top olive oil producer, supplying about 40% of the world's output.
«We are witnessing a significant increase in shoplifting,» said Ruben Navarro, CEO of Tu Super, a supermarket chain operating in Spain's Andalucia region told Reuters.
«Olive oil has become an attractive product for thieves to steal.»
In an effort to combat theft, Tu Super has resorted to chaining large 5-litre bottles of olive oil together and padlocking them to shelves since September.
The outlook for olive oil is also worrisome Deoleo, the world's largest olive oil producer, predicts that olive oil prices in Spain will remain at record levels until at least June due to the consecutive droughts in the southern part of the country.
News reports have reported that many Carrefour and Auchan supermarkets in Spain are fitting security tags with one litre bottles of olive oil that require staff intervention for removal.
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Spanish police have also reported instances of olive oil theft from mills. In Spain, thefts of items worth less than 400 euros are not punished unless it is a repeat offence. (With Agency Inputs)