Proving there’s now a study into just about everything comes the latest research into Australia’s butter and margarine habits.
According to research firm Roy Morgan, over 12.3 million Australians buy butter, margarine or another type of butter blend/dairy spread in an average month, up from just under 11.9 million four years ago.
When it comes to choosing between butter and margarine it is butter that Australians are increasingly choosing in preference to margarine while other spreads including butter blends and dairy spreads are also increasing in popularity.
In 2018 over 8.6 million Australians bought butter in an average month comprising 42 per cent of Australians aged 14-plus an increase of over 1.1 million compared to four years ago in 2014 when just over 7.4 million Australians bought butter in an average month.
In comparison just over five million Australians (25 per cent) bought margarine in an average month in 2018 representing a significant decline of over 1.3 million from four years ago in 2014.
In addition nearly 2.6 million Australians (13 per cent) bought a butter blend/dairy spread in an average month representing an increase of nearly 650,000 from four years ago.
Western Star top butter brand in 2018 bought by over 3.1 million Aussies
The increasing butter market over the last four years has benefited a range of butter producers including Western Star, Devondale, Mainland and also supermarket private label butter brands with all increasing their market size between 2014 and 2018.
Western Star remains the leading producer of butter in Australia bought by over 3.1 million Australians in an average month, up by over 550,000 from four years ago and capturing a far larger market size than their leading rivals. Among Western Star’s butter brands are the popular Western Star Unsalted butter and also Western Star Salt Reduced butter as well as their flagship Western Star butter.
Although Western’s Star’s increasing market size over the last four years was impressive rivals Devondale which increased its customer base by nearly 70,000 to 727,000 and Mainland which increased its customer base by nearly 140,000 to 656,000 have also grown as consumers increasingly choose to buy butter rather than margarine.
Commenting on the findings, Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said: “Butter is gaining the edge in the long-running battle between Australia’s two favourite spreads with butter now bought by over 8.6 million Australians (42 per cent) in an average month up from 7.4 million (38.5 per cent) four years ago.
“Over the same four year stretch significantly fewer Australians are now purchasing margarine, now down to 5 million (25 per cent) in an average month down over 1.3 million from four years ago.
“This significant divergence in the market for spreads has provided a significant boost to all major butter producing companies led by Western Star. Over 3.1 million Australians now buy a Western Star butter spread in an average month, up over 550,000 from four years ago.
“As well as the traditional Wester Star original butter spread the Western Star Unsalted butter and Western Star Salt Reduced butter marketed as healthy alternatives which retain an appealing taste. Roy Morgan’s health research shows that 73 per cent of Australians agree when eating food that ‘I like to eat healthy but don’t want to compromise on taste’.
“If companies such as Western Star, as well as major butter producers including Devondale and Mainland can strike the right balance between a healthy butter or margarine spread that retains its taste they can continue to grow their market shares in a tough, but growing, market,” Levine said.