Price Of Butter Soars, Will Affect Consumers

News to give pause to lovers of butter: The price of butter is soaring across the globe due to rising demand, regulatory pressures, and inclement weather. 

Together, these factors sent the international butter price to a record high in June, 2017, according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization. This comes on the heel of sustained low dairy prices since 2007 that forced many farmers out of business and led to a significant drop in output from the world’s five leading regions in 2016.

At the same time, consumers’ taste for butter has increased as studies have induced some who once used vegetable oil-based spreads to return to butter. As both professional kitchens and home cooks are once again making butter a mainstay in their larder, farmers are having as significantly harder time keeping up with production.  This issue is even larger for the dairies using sustainable farming practices.  It’s and expensive practice to feed cattle exclusively on nutrient dense grass and greens and skip the grains and supplements. Which means fewer cattle per farm and less output per year. 

No matter how you look at it, butter is big, now pretty much considered a health food after a widespread reaction to processed spreads, like margarine. This article in Food + Wine Magazine, goes as far as to say: “Thanks in large part to a...lessening stigma toward the dairy product that was once the patsy for so many medical conditions.” The article also cites the “Great British Bake Off effect” as a reason for the serious rise in the use of butter by home cooks in the United Kingdom and European Union. We presume similar shows across the globe are having the same effect on butter-hungry bakers.

This may have led to a recent hike in export to Europe from our partners in Ireland.  As one of the largest importers of cultured Irish Butter, we’re having a difficult time allocating product due to the limited resources available.   When one domino falls, the rest will follow.  Within the last 5 months we have seen an almost 45% increase in cost for our butter across all 3 lines:  Grassfed, Cultured, and Organic.

Analysts are predicting the price surge will last into next year, then may stabilize--but we can expect it to not go back to previous levels. This will obviously affect makers of butter-sourced products like ghee, especially those who use the highest quality butters on the market.

So, what does all of this mean for you?  You can expect to see higher prices in the dairy aisle, including more specifically Butter and Ghee.  While our mission here is to offer an exceptional product, that is nutrient dense and accessible, while also being affordable.  We are doing everything we can to keep from increasing the prices to our customers.  That includes reducing headcount, cutting our marketing budget where we can, and negotiating more than we ever have before with our retail partners to ensure that the increase in cost on our end hasn’t been hitting your pockets hard.  What we won’t do is cut on quality, craftsmanship and packaging. 

We are going to be holding the current pricing through the end of the year and hopefully a little longer.  But after 6 months of butter costs going up so significantly, there’s only so much we can do before we have to relay this to our end customer.  What we want to do in this process is be available for questions and start a conversation with you.  Change demands dialogue, and you deserve that. 

Our goal has always been to be transparent with our customers and consumers, and if you ever have any questions, please feel free to email us at info@tinstarfoods.com.


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