Price cuts on Anchor Spreadable are the first public signs of New Zealand Milk UK's aggressive plans to reclaim the number one spot in the butter market. MD Simon Tuckey said one reason for the dramatic price cuts of recent weeks, with a 250g tub down to 66p, was that they recognised they had to encourage more people to taste the product. "Only 30% to 40% of households have tried Spreadable so we have got to stop fannying about and get more people to try it," he said. However, Tuckey also admitted the company was gunning for Lurpak: "Lurpak is now butter market leader. But until 18 months ago, we were brand leader and were in that position for 75 years. "They have overtaken us by bringing Lurpak Spreadable into London." The company is investing £4m at its Swindon base to increase capacity for Anchor Spreadable. Trade promotions, such as the price cuts, will clearly play a key part in rebuilding the brand. However, the company has also set 30 people within the organisation a "Mega Challenge" to boost market share by a significant amount in six months. Tuckey would not say by how much, but The Grocer understands the team has been asked to increase sales and profit by 40%. At the same time, New Zealand Milk is aggressively promoting its packet butter by flagging up the "free range" claim on wraps and running a new ad campaign. The message will also go on to packs of Spreadable. Tuckey said: "If we can become an ever bigger number one player in packet butter and even more competitive on Spreadable that's the way we will become number one overall." However, arch rival Arla remains unworried and is setting its sites on a higher target for Lurpak. Brand manager Danny Micklethwaite said: "Lurpak's current brand value stands at £107m and it is enjoying year-on-year growth of plus 7%, whereas Anchor's value is £72m, which represents year-on-year decline of over 14%. "Our long term goal is leadership of the yellow fats category as a whole, a position currently occupied by Flora." {{NEWS }}