Focus on Butters and Spreads by Rachel Graham

Publishing: 9 June

Advertising deadline: 31 May

Submissions deadline: 24 May

Butter has become the reluctant posterboy for price rises. Average block butter prices have soared by as much over the past year, and spreadable butter prices are up too. Price-conscious consumers are voting with their feet however sunflower and health spreads are showing growth. So can the ailing butter and spreads category reverse its fortunes?

Key Themes:

Prices: Why have prices increased so substantially? Is this the reason behind volume declines? And if consumers are buying less butter, what are they turning to instead? Could cheaper own label benefit?

Free from: The growth in health and sunflower spreads is largely being driven by free from players. So could dairy-free spreads be a way of attracting a younger audience?

Market confidence: Is interest from a private equity company proof that there is hope for the category or a sign of dwindling confidence in the market?

The younger consumer: Volume declines have largely come from younger consumers. Why is this?

Brands: What are brands doing to reverse volume decline? Some have changed their name for example or put plenty into advertising – what’s working?

4 x innovations: We feature four new products or product ranges that have ideally not appeared in The Grocer before, including image, launch date and RSP.

Key questions the feature is likely to address:

 What consumer trends have impacted the category over the past year?

 How have promotional strategies (both in terms of price and marketing) evolved?

 How have individual retailers’ strategies impacted the market?

 How has merchandising changed in the market?

 What impact has own-label had on branded players?

 What’s next for the category?