Butter’s comeback is churning big sales

Delitia - Buffalo Milk Butter - Eataly Chicago
Delitia – Buffalo Milk Butter – Eataly Chicago

Who knew I was setting a trend?

From dairy giant Land O’Lakes to tiny creameries, the butter business is booming.

Per capita U.S. butter consumption has hit highs not seen in about 40 years. The once demonized fat is downright de rigueur in cooking circles, a star on celebrity chef shows. It has become a natural food darling.

Butter owes much of its comeback to its simplicity. Consumers have become increasingly picky about processed foods with lists of indecipherable ingredients.

“There has been a complete resurgence of butter since at least 2008, and it really has everything to do with ‘real food,’ ” said Melissa Abbott, culinary insights director at the Hartman Group, a market researcher. “There’s been a backlash against margarine and other processed spreads.”

Part of butter’s renaissance stems from the rise of TV programing about food and chefs, particularly on the Food Network, said Heather Anfang, vice president of U.S. dairy food marketing at Land O’Lakes. “The vast majority of those chefs use butter, so there’s a lot of talk about butter,” she said.

Consumers listen to chefs. “They are the leading food educators of our time,” said Hartman’s Abbott.

The foodie focus on TV and certain Internet sites has consumers paying more attention to details, educating themselves on ingredients and reading labels. “They have a strong desire to know what’s in their food,” Anfang said. “And they want a simple label.”

A product can’t get much less complex than butter. It’s made from two basic ingredients: sweet cream and salt, or just cream, of course, if it’s unsalted butter.

(click here to continue reading Butter’s comeback is churning big sales – chicagotribune.com.)

Nordic Creamery - Goat Butter
Nordic Creamery – Goat Butter

I’m kidding of course, but to be honest, I’ve never had a refrigerator in my home that didn’t have butter in it. What has changed is that there are many more options of good, quality butters these days. Land O’Lakes is not the only option, thankfully.

Mrs O'Leary's Butter Cow
Mrs O’Leary’s Butter Cow

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