Friday, February 7th, 2014

Is butter better? While that’s a question best left for the health experts and foodies, recent sales trends reveal that more Australian grocery buyers are purchasing butter than they were five years ago. This gradual but steady growth has been driven by lower income households.

In the 12 months to September 2013, 47% of grocery buyers bought butter in an average four-week period, up from 44% in the year to September 2009.

Although butter is not as popular as margarine, its growing sales appear to have impacted those of margarine, which have declined since 2009, with 54% of grocery buyers purchasing it in an average four-week period in 2013 (down from 59%).

While grocery buyers in higher-income-earning households are more likely to buy butter, the most consistent growth has been among grocery buyers with household incomes of less than $35,000, with an increase of 5% points since 2009.


Butter purchase by household income


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2008 – September 2013, average annual sample n = 19,469.

Geoffrey Smith, General Manager - Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“The shift towards quality food and ingredients  not to mention the discovery that it’s not as bad for our health as previously believed — have no doubt contributed to butter’s return to favour in recent years. While the chart above shows that butter is most popular among shoppers from affluent households, Roy Morgan’s ground-breaking new profiling tool,Helix Personas, can assist marketers to refine their search for who these shoppers really are.


“For instance, 58% of successful, well-off ‘Smart Money’ individuals purchased butter in an average four weeks, a far higher proportion than the national average. Smart Money are typically first among their social circle to try the latest hip restaurant – where they’ll probably get the best table because they know the chef.


“As far as these sociable, trendy folks are concerned, a loved one’s birthday is the perfect excuse for a dinner party, giving them a chance to try out the latest celebrity recipes — preferably containing butter!”

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Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Samantha Wilson
P: (03) 9224 5268


FMCG, retail, supermarkets, butter, dairy




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