Demand For Real Butter Is Spreading
The demand for real butter is increasing according to the latest sales figures for the product.
In the last five years sales of butter have risen 7% in the UK, while margarine sales have dropped by 6%.
However, the market for margarine is still bigger with 271 million kilograms sold per year, while butter sells 141 million kilograms.
The increase in demand for butter has helped boost the business of many artisan producers, including Abernethy Butter in County Down in Northern Ireland.
Will and Allison Abernethy started making butter on their farm three years ago, and the enterprise has turned from a hobby into a business producing one tonne of butter a month.
Mrs Abernethy said: "We didn't realise there was such a demand for butter and the public were saying 'we love butter, we don't like margarine and we're going back to butter'."
Their hand-made product has even melted the hearts of Michelin Star chefs including Heston Blumenthal and Marcus Wareing. They supply butter to their London restaurants as well as high-end retailer Fortnum and Mason.
Even the big producers of margarines are starting to realise there has been a shift towards butter.
Last Autumn consumer goods giant Unilever, which produces Flora margarine, introduced butter into one of its spreads for the very first time.
For decades the health benefits of margarine have been promoted over butter.
But now the experts say butter isn't that bad for us after all.
Belfast based nutritional therapist Jane McClenaghan has been telling people to convert back to butter for years.
She said: "Not only are people looking for a more natural product but also research actually doesn't really back up the evidence that we should cut saturated fats out of our diet totally so our trends are following what the research says, but it has just taken us a while."
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