Competition in healthy butters and spreads is set to intensify as WeightWatchers re-enters the fray.

WeightWatchers Half Fat butter block (200g) and tubs of WeightWatchers dairy spread (250g) went into Asda on 22 May [], priced at £1.29.

WeightWatchers, which claims its new spread is the lowest fat on the market at 85% less sat fat than standard butter, previously sold a spread called Olivite but it was discontinued in 2004 when the licence expired. The half-fat block butter is the first butter under the brand.

The products, which are made by Glanbia Consumer Foods, were a natural fit with the WeightWatchers sliced bread and sandwich alternatives and would allow it to offer “cross-category promotion and savings for the consumer”, said WeightWatchers.

“The launch represents a significant opportunity for the brand - new in the BSM category, as consumers continue to seek lower fat solutions,” said WeightWatchers UK licensing commercial manager, Matt Davis.

The two products are the latest in a string of ‘lighter’ launches in butters and spreads in recent months as dairy manufacturers try to tap into growing demand for healthier products in the category.

Adams Foods launched a Kerrygold unsalted block butter, which contains 25% less fat than standard block butter, in June last year, listed in Asda and Sainsbury’s.

In spreads, Arla launched Lurpak Lightest in December, backed by a £10m campaign - the biggest Lurpak brand launch in a decade - and in January, Unilever relaunched Flora.

Over the past year, 50% of households have bought a WeightWatchers branded product [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 12 May 2012].