Consumption of unbranded olive oil obtained in bulk has previously been reported to be very high in Greece, underlining the need to investigate knowledge regarding its health attributes and storage practices, two areas that can affect oil quality. This study aimed to investigate Greek consumers' use and choice of olive oil, their knowledge about its quality, as well as domestic storage practices of olive oil. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in a representative sample of 857 Greek households that consume olive oil, using a previously validated questionnaire. Most participating households use olive oil produced by themselves or by their extended family or friends (60.3%), and only 27.4% purchase branded olive oil, while 57% reported using extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Only 38.4% of the respondents reported optimal domestic storage practices to maintain olive oil quality, with a significant greater percentage of non-producers group compared to olive oil producers. In all areas of Greece, the higher the knowledge of olive oil quality, the higher the probability of consumers selecting EVOO and perceiving olive oil price as low. The present survey highlights the need to heighten consumers' knowledge of olive oil attributes and correct storage practices and awareness about branded EVOO and its superior quality.
Keywords: consumer survey; knowledge; olive oil; polychoric analysis; safety.