butter one use

Butter prices are surging in the mults in the wake of warnings over supply shortages.

Block butter prices are up 7% year on year on average across 80 SKUs in the major mults [Brand View 52 w/e 25 January 2017].

A 250g block of Country Life butter is now 42% more expensive at £1.50, while the price of Kerrygold’s 250g block is 6% higher at £1.67, and Président’s unsalted block is up 2% at £1.68.

Own-label butter prices have also risen, with a 250g block of salted butter now 39% more expensive, at £1.21 on average.

Spreadable tubs are more expensive too, with Lurpak Spreadable up 10% across 12 SKUs.

The shelf price increases are the result of both reduced promotional activity on block butter and higher base prices on some SKUs, and follow warnings by manufacturers last year that falling milk production and low stocks had resulted in supply issues and soaring wholesale prices for butter.

“Prices are likely to have been at least partly affected by the higher wholesale pricing that came about on the back of the lack of product in the autumn,” said AHDB analyst Patty Clayton. “If the stock situation had been strong, even though production had gone down, we might not have seen such a big increase in wholesale prices.”

Higher distribution costs had also contributed to retail price hikes, said Clayton, although she added this factor had less of an impact on butter than other dairy products such as cream, due to the minimal packaging needed.

“The cost of individual products is determined by a number of factors and prices can fluctuate, both up and down, as a consequence,” added a Sainsbury’s spokeswoman. “We remain committed to providing our customers with delicious food and great quality and value every time they shop with us.”