Why do we still love butter?

Why do we still love butter?

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We know that healthy food and clean eating trends have swept the global F&B industry in recent years. Consumers in regions around the world have focused their attention on food products with the power to support their health, and more and more people have rejected high-fat foods in favour of new alternatives. 

And yet, we still love butter. 

The global butter market is projected to reach USD $65.9 billion by 2030. And within that, the luxury butter market in particular is thriving: with a slow churn and high flavour, consumers are spending more on high-end butters to spread on their…well, on everything. 

In May 2024, British food manufacturer All Things Butter secured £2.2 million in a seed funding round – and it got us thinking about the quiet confidence of this reliable dairy favourite. 

Why do people love butter?

Writer and pastry chef Elaine Khosrova wrote a book called Butter: A Rich History. In it, she explored why humans have been eating butter for 10,000 years or more; and why it remains so consistently popular across many countries and cultures. 

Importantly, she dug into the physiological reasons why butter is so irresistible: in short, we’re wired to love it. It’s satisfying and packed with energy. 

It may be high in fat, but it is also healthy

In her book, Khosrova dug into the differences between grass-fed butter and industrial butter – with the former being significantly better for us, from a nutritional point of view. Industrially produced butters tend to be lower in micronutrients. 

Today’s rise in luxury butter is a nod to the value of grass-fed butter: it’s delicious and it’s better for us. So it does make sense that an increasingly health-conscious consumer population is spending more on butter. 

Nutrient-dense and full of vitamins and minerals that are difficult to get from plant-based food products, butter can be a valuable part of a healthy diet. It’s important to note that it is high in saturated fats, of course; and although our attitudes to fat in general are changing with new scientific knowledge, eating too much of it still isn’t good for anyone. 

The artisan resurgence of buttery luxury 

Another driver behind the rise of luxury butter is a broader trend towards artisan food products. There’s a growing preference for authenticity and tradition in food products. A study by e-commerce platform Cortilia, for example, covering 2,871 consumers aged 25-64, found that:

  • 82% of people choose to buy artisan food products
  • 78% prefer artisan products over the same products offered by major brands
  • 93% believe that major brands are not a reliable guarantee of quality 

So consumers are opting for smaller scale production and higher, more authentic quality – and luxury butters fall neatly into that trend. 

But for the sake of your health, maybe don’t do this…

Some people eat butter like cheese. Yep – they just bite straight into a block of it.

Diet and fitness influencers on TikTok have recently been encouraging their followers to snack on sticks of butter – causing such concern among health professionals that HealthLine published an article about it. 

No judgements; we respect your food choices. But eating butter by the mouthful might not be the best decision for your long-term health…even if it is delicious, authentic, artisan and grass-fed.

Mark your calendars for our next newsletter on 05 July 2024. Is there anything specific you'd like to see covered? We'd love to hear from you! Click here to share your suggestions.

Until next week,

Aravind Kanniah,
Exhibition Director

If you want to stay ahead of the latest developments in F&B, register now to attend InFlavour 2024. We can’t wait to see you there.

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