By Wendy Williams
THE Spanish have long been proclaiming the olive as the ideal snack.
Now it seems the rest of the world is catching on with British consumers prefering the more sophisticated olives to the old fashioned bar snack of peanuts.
Tesco – the country’s biggest supermarket – has revealed olive sales rose by 44 percent in 2010, while peanut sales stayed stagnant.
If this growth continues, the chain predicts that the olive will pip the peanut within a year.
Nicola Jamieson, Tesco’s deli counters buyer, said: “Until only recently olives and antipasti would have been considered posh peoples’ nibbles.
“But in the last year they have started to become mainstream, and with peanut sales flat they appear to be replacing them in our affections as a great snacking food.”
The news comes as it emerged that olive oil is now the most common cooking oil in the UK.
British consumers now use 28 million litres each year, double the figure from eight years ago.
The new found success of the olive – associated with the Mediterranean diet – is being attributed to its relatively healthy status.
This is in comparison with peanuts, which are high in fat and salt.