Plant-Based butter: the new star in the dairy aisle

8 May 2020

First, there was meat, then there was milk. Now, butter is shaping up to be the new darling of the plant-based offerings as consumers look toward more sustainable alternatives for their diets.

This summer, Kite Hill will release its plant-based butter in the United States. Flora, which is owned by Upfield Group, is gaining popularity in Europe. Milkadamia has Butta-Bing Butta-Bloom. And Miyoko’s Creamery has a plant-based butter option as well. Older brands have also gotten on the train with Country Crock’s Olive Oil Plant Butter and Earth Balance products touting plant-based labels.

Plant-Based butter: the new star in the dairy aisle

The plant-based movement is growing. People want to feel healthier and a study from DuPont Nutrition & Health found that this desire has driven 52% of U.S. consumers to opt for plant-based options. The result is that the retail sales of plant-based foods rose 11.4% in 2019 to reach a market value of $5 billion, according to data from the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) and The Good Food Institute (GFI). In particular, the dairy category has seen considerable growth.

No one ever said that butter was good for a person. So what is it about plant-based butters that make people feel healthier? The answer might have something to do with the environmental impact of butter products. Forbes reported that scientists found that for every 2.2 pounds of plant-based butter, 7.3 pounds of CO2 is produced – that is 73% less than for dairy-based spreads. The production of plant-based butter also used significantly less water than traditional butter and does not require as much intensive land husbandry as raising dairy cows.

However, vegetable-based butter spreads are nothing new as margarine has been around since the 19th century. So, with no major difference between plant-based butters and margarine, what is drawing customers to these plant-based alternatives? Firstly, the terminology of the former makes it clear that there are no animal components used in the products. Margarine can sometimes feature milk ingredients although it is generally composed of vegetable fats. This is important not only for those looking to eat a primarily plant-based diet, but also for those who are lactose intolerant, which according to research from Cornell University could be 60% of adults worldwide.

At the same time, plant-based alternatives have lower levels of saturated and trans fat. The margarine market was marred by its association with trans fat, which has been shown to raise the bad cholesterol (LDL) in the human body and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and type two diabetes. Although manufacturers largely reduced the amount of trans fat used in margarine spreads, a stigma lingers over the product category – something the terminology “plant-based” does not carry.

Still, the social and environmental values associated with plant-based are hard to ignore. As the meat and dairy industry come under fire for sustainability concerns, plant-based products are in a prime position to step in and offer consumers an alternative. Butter appears to be the next category poised for an overhaul.

Related news

La Colombe Coffee Roasters introduces draft chocolate milk

La Colombe Coffee Roasters introduces draft chocolate milk

12 Jun 2020

The company known for portable cans of ready-to-drink coffee has entered a new segment: chocolate milk. Made with lactose-free milk, the draft version of a childhood favorite is crafted with real cocoa and then infused with nitrous oxide to imbue that ...

Read more 
Exploring different approaches to lactose-free dairy

Exploring different approaches to lactose-free dairy

17 May 2020

Demand for lactose-free dairy is on the rise around the world, and manufacturers have several options available to them to tap into this growing trend.

Read more 
Perfect Day’s animal-free dairy protein earns Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status

Perfect Day’s animal-free dairy protein earns Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status

13 May 2020

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a “no objections” letter for the animal-free dairy company Perfect Day’s β-lactoglobulin protein. The letter certifies that the protein has attained Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status.

Read more 
Catered foodservice meals in the UK to have 20% less meat

Catered foodservice meals in the UK to have 20% less meat

24 Apr 2020

Public sector caterers serving schools, universities, hospitals and care homes have pledged to reduce the amount of meat served on their menus by 20%. There is simultaneously a focus on reducing overall red meat offerings.

Read more 
Hochdorf reports year of transformation

Hochdorf reports "year of transformation"

26 Mar 2020

2019 was a year of transformation for the Hochdorf Group, it says, caused in particular by acquisitions in recent years that did not develop as hoped.

Read more 
Novozymes launches lactase enzyme

Novozymes launches lactase enzyme

25 Mar 2020

Novozymes is launching Saphera Fiber, a new lactase enzyme to increase the content of fibres while also reducing sugar in fermented and non-fermented dairy products.

Read more 
Fonterra reports upturn for 1H2020

Fonterra reports upturn for 1H2020

20 Mar 2020

Fonterra has announced its 2020 Interim Results, which show the co-operative’s financial performance has improved with increased underlying earnings and reduced debt.

Read more 
Innova: ice cream balance changing

Innova: ice cream balance changing

16 Mar 2020

Pleasure is still the driving force behind ice cream purchases, with consumers naming its taste, the fact that it’s a treat and makes people feel happy as the top three reasons for buying it.

Read more 
FrieslandCampina sees OP rise, revenue decline

FrieslandCampina sees OP rise, revenue decline

3 Mar 2020

For 2019, FrieslandCampina hs reported that operating profit increased by 26.3% to €432 million. Profit rose by 36.9% to €278 million mainly as a result of one-off gains and improved operating profits in Consumer Dairy and Dairy Essentials.

Read more 
Valio to set science-based climate targets

Valio to set science-based climate targets

2 Mar 2020

Valio says it is the first Finnish food company to set climate targets in line with the Paris Agreement

Read more