Although Spain is the world’s top organic extra virgin olive oil (OEVOO) producer, domestic consumption is low. Most of the OEVOO produced is destined for external markets. As access to these markets is rife with challenges, developing internal demand has become a matter of utmost importance. Therefore, the general objective of this study is to analyse what is limiting OEVOO consumption levels in Spain. Although a review of the literature reveals some potential explanatory factors, this study analyses the relationship between consumption levels and the limiting factors perceived by consumers. The main novelty of the study is that these limiting factors are divided into two distinct dimensions: difficulties perceived by consumers in the purchase of OEVOO, and the impact of these on their buying behaviour. Based on the results of a survey of 793 people, this distinction throws up a clear paradox: although practically all the factors considered as difficulties are perceived to exist, these do not appear to fully explain the decision not to purchase the product. The suggested explanation for this is simply that the “organic” attribute or label is not highly valued or appreciated by Spanish consumers. Considering the quantitative significance of the group of non-consumers in the population, promoting social and environmental awareness emerges as the best strategy to improve the public’s appreciation of the organic label and boost internal demand.
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