Changing Consummers Preferences for Vegetable Oil

Palm oil is an edible oil that has been consumed by public for thousands of years (Cottrell 1991). It is used either as cooking oil, margarine, shortening, or as vegetable oil in the food industry. Palm oil is one of 17 vegetable oils recommended as food ingredients by FAO and WHO (Codex Alimentarius Commission, 1983).

The revealed preferences of international society can be seen from the composition of global vegetable oil consumption. From 1965 to 2016 there were changes in the pattern of global vegetable oil consumption.

The consumption share of palm oil among the world’s main four vegetable oils swiftly increased to 38 percent in 2017 from 22 percent in 1980. In contrast, the share of soybean oil decreased to 33 percent from 55 percent during the same period (Figure).

Figure Change of preferences among global consumers of four main vegetable oils (USDA, 2018)

The change in preferences of world vegetable oil consumption shows that the consumption of palm oil has shifted from soybean oil to palm oil. In other words, society prefers palm oil to other kinds of vegetable oils.

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