Many shoppers love using Anchor butter to bake, said Arla last week, but they simply “don’t have time to take block butter out of the fridge and wait for it to soften”.

This may sound like the archetypal first world problem, but according to Arla, this is a vital issue tormenting some consumers.

But fear not – it has the solution.

Its new Anchor Squeezy product, where Arla has “taken our delicious butter and popped it into a bottle”, will hit the mults in July.

And just like the battlelines drawn ahead of the upcoming general election, the reaction to this NPD, first reported by The Grocer last week, has already engendered some entrenched opinions, both for and against.

Some people argue it poses a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, meanwhile others can’t wait to get their hands on it. So, is this genius NPD or will it miss the mark?

Quick and easy home-baking solutions

Arla’s argument is that it offers support for time-poor people who want “quick and easy solutions for their at-home baking creations – with the added knowledge that they’re still getting the great Anchor buttery taste”.

“All you need to do is take a squeeze of our butter, straight from the fridge and mix – it’s that simple,” says Holly Murray, director of BSM at Arla.

However, consumers were less convinced when The Grocer shared the news on LinkedIn.

Read more: Why posh butter is on the rise

“Just wrong wrong wrong, this!” said one LinkedIn user, while others questioned “why?” and another said: “Is this really what the world needs? Presumably they’ve conducted customer research, but we’ve survived until now without it!”

Despite reservations about the product’s liquid blend of butter and 67% rapeseed oil, the NPD has piqued interest as one self-confessed “butter person” on LinkedIn said, it “sounds bloody awful. But to be fair, I need to try it”.

And that is clearly what Arla will be banking on, as it is also offering consumers who take the risk of snapping up Anchor Squeezy a money-back guarantee if they don’t find it “deliciously easy”.

Tapping into specialist occasions

Of course, this is not the first time Arla has looked to expand the horizons of its bestselling butter brands, with the dairy giant unveiling a Lurpak Cooks range in 2014 which included a cooking liquid, very similar to the most recent launch.

But despite the range attracting plenty of industry plaudits, it was scrapped in 2015 after just 17 months on sale due to “lower than anticipated performance”.

“It was trying to change consumer behaviour, encourage shoppers to make an additional purchase and use the products for slightly more specialist occasions, and also to compete with adjacent categories like oil,” said Mike Walker, business unit director at Arla at the time.

He explained that some consumers were starting to buy into the range but “it would have taken too long to drive success”.

With Anchor Squeezy, Arla is trying to tap into “more specialist occasions” again – but is the timing better now?

Nine “unprecedented” years have passed since Arla’s last attempt at this type of product, so will it be easier to change consumer habits now and convert them to a liquid butter/oil hybrid? Perhaps.

Convenience has become more and more important among consumers, and this product ticks that box. However, with spiralling prices still putting a strain on people’s baskets, are they really going to fork out more for a new untested product?

The brand clearly believes they will, but we’ll have to wait and see whether the bet pays off – or if Arla will be shelling out more in refunds than it takes in via the till.