Schwartz September 2019

Butter is Back!

Over the past five years the spreads category has experienced enormous change with more spreads and oils on the market than ever before.

This choice, combined with experts making butter an enemy to health, saw butter pushed further out of the kitchen. But now the trend has changed and butter is back – fashionable, guilt-free, natural and delicious.

What is butter?

It’s made from the fat of cows’ milk, but it’s not pure fat. Only about 80% of ordinary butter is fat with remaining 20% made up of milk solids and water.

Big business

Figures from the research company Kantar Worldpanel show that sales of butter have risen by 7% in the past five years. It now values the butter market at £683 million.

Why the renewed popularity?

Experts have revised their warnings and have now declared that butter is not as unhealthy as they originally thought. “The recent trend is very much driven by its more natural positioning,” explains Amy Price, an analyst at Mintel. Its research found that 39% of people agreed that butter was “more healthy” than other spreads.

Full of flavour

Chef Simon Hopkinson was trained in a French kitchen and taught by Normandy chefs as a teenager. As a result, butter became his favourite ingredient. He says the return of butter is something to be celebrated. “Delicious to cook with or to eat just as it is, it richly flavours endless dishes,” says Hopkinson.

Good choice

The high fat content makes butter ideal for baking, because it makes pastry and other doughs tender and flaky. Other fats don’t mouth the way butter does, which is why non-butter icings can leave a greasy feeling in the mouth. Butter’s rich, creamy and sublime flavour makes it a unique spread.

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