The major trend driving growth within the butters, spreads and margarine category is spreadable butter. There are also definite trends towards lighter products, which are delivering growth for a number of brands, and towards organic, which, while still a very small part of the market, is also performing well.

This year's hot summer seems to have had a slightly negative effect. We are investigating this by looking into the correlation between, for example, bread and spreads.

There have been no major launches in the past six months as BSM is pretty much divided up between a group of very stable brands. There has not been much marketing either. Above-the-line support has centered around the main brands' range extensions, which have delivered successfully for Lurpak, Country Life and Flora.

Somerfield is doing particularly well in buttery spreads, especially Utterly Butterly and Clover, primarily on a deal-driven basis. Within the whole market, Lurpak, Anchor and Flora continue to perform well. Bogof and half-price activity has been very successful in delivering market share growth in Somerfield and other retailers are moving towards this.

Promotions may be driving Somerfield's strong performance but, within the market as a whole, this is less dramatic. Value growth in spreadable butter is driving cash back into the category.

In the future, there is likely to be further focus on health and this will drive innovation from brands and own labels. This will in turn deliver better consumer awareness around the health benefits.

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