Lurpak has launched an audacious bid to create a mini sub-sector of the block butter category with the development of a 50g pack.

Believed to be a first in a category where the overwhelming majority of products are 250g, the new size of slightly salted butter - which goes into 500 Tesco stores this month - w0uld re-invigorate the category and draw in new customers, Lurpak said.

Young professionals and smaller occupancy households are expected to be the key market for the ‘mini block s’, rsp 50p each. The blocks would also appeal to the picnic market and those who typically only use a small amount of butter and wanted to reduce waste, Lurpak said.

If it proved successful it would look to extend the format to other products , starting with the unsalted variant, said brand manager Jessica Hardcastle. Discussions were also under way with other retailers over listings, she added.

In the new year, Lurpak will be launching a multipack with six 50g portions, presented as a product that can be frozen and defrosted when needed.

Research by the butter brand revealed that 36% of shoppers claimed not to buy block butter because the standard 250g packs were too large for their needs. Consumers were also concerned about ­freshness and wastage, the research showed.

“Food wastage is high on everybody’s agenda at the moment and the figures are shocking,” Hardcastle said. “We think the time is absolutely right to bring out our mini block.”

Recent census data shows that the number of smaller households is on the rise, with 29% of households only containing one person and 35% only two.

“Tesco recognises the need to offer our customers smaller pack sizes of butter in a bid to reduce food wastage and control fat and calorie intake,” said Tesco buying manager Samantha Sandall.

The launch will be supported by an in-store sampling programme, but there won’t be a major marketing campaign.