Arla is gearing up for a major new year push on spreads with the launch of a super-light variant of Lurpak and the extension of Lactofree into spreads.

Lurpak Lightest Spreadable (rsp: £2.98 for 500g) is being billed by Arla as the company’s biggest Lurpak brand launch in a decade and will be supported by a £10m marketing campaign, which it also claims is its biggest ever.

The new spread contains 27.5% butter and 40% fat compared with Lighter’s 60%, putting it on a par with Flora Light, which contains 38%.

Arla is targeting £16m in first year sales for Lightest, which group brand manager Stuart Ibberson predicted would appeal to a “whole new audience that we’ve never spoken to or appealed to before”. Some shoppers had rejected Lurpak for being too high in fat, he admitted.

The launch will be supported by 30 and 60-second TV ads as well as outdoor and consumer print ads. The campaign would highlight the message that healthy eating was not about calorie counting and self-deprivation and was “much more exciting and creative,” Arla said.

Lightest - which will be listed across the multiples from 1 January - will be sold in a tub that has a lighter silver colour than the existing Lurpak range.

Its launch is Arla’s latest move to extend its £260.1m Lurpak brand into the more niche sectors of the dairy fixture.

In July, it launched Lurpak Lighter Spreadable with Olive Oil, which is currently listed in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Waitrose. However, Lurpak Sea Salt, launched in January, only remains in Tesco after being delisted by Asda and Sainsbury’s earlier this year.

The new year will also see the extension of Arla’s lactose-free Lactofree brand from milk, cream, cheese and yoghurt into spreads. Although there were other cow’s butter substitutes available to consumers, some were not suitable for those with lactose intolerance, while others did not deliver on taste, Arla claimed.

Brand manager Louise Allen described the launch of Lactofree Spreadable as “part of our continued effort to give our customers what they need in everyday cooking and baking”. Arla was hoping for £1.2m in annual sales for the spread, she said, adding that it was also working on a Lactofree ice cream.

Lactofree Spreadable (rsp: £1.60 for a 250g tub) will be available from Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s from January.