SOARING DEMAND FOR BUTTER

Recent reports are showing that the demand for butter, cream and dairy products is increasing across the globe as consumers renew their taste for natural fats. Euromonitor International reveals that International retail butter sales are expected to expand by 2.9 percent to (US) $19.4 billion in 2018, outpacing the 1.9 percent growth in sales volumes.

New Zealand company, Westgold butter sales have just exceeded the three-million-dollar mark in response to the growing trend. The company was able to achieve the milestone in just three years, following the products domestic launch in 2015.

“Globally, we are seeing increased consumer demand for natural, wholesome foods, and a return to the simplicity that products such as butter offer. Westland is proudly owned by our shareholders, the vast majority of whom farm on the West Coast,” said Hamish Yates, general manager of marketing and innovation, Westland.

“The West Coast has New Zealand’s highest proportion of jersey and Jersey-cross cows, which are renowned for producing milk high in butterfat. We think this, combined with our traditional churning technique, helps make Westgold butter so special.”

John Marshall is one of Westland’s farmer shareholders. Along with his partner Anna, John milks 180 cows on their 152-hectare farm in Moana, situated 30 minutes inland from Greymouth. Their milk is used to produce Westgold butter.

“There is a sense of pride and ownership in seeing the end product on the shelves, and knowing that you helped play a large part in its success.” Westgold’s three million milestone was achieved extremely quickly, which goes to show the consumer demand is there. It’s an amazing achievement in a highly competitive, commoditised market.”

According to recent Nielsen data, Westgold butter was the third most purchased butter in North Island New World Supermarkets and appeared in almost a quarter of Kiwi fridges last year.

The butter is produced in Hokitika by Westland Milk Products, Westgold is marketed as the ‘everyday gourmet butter’. Westgold is produced in Hokitika using the Fritz Churn process, which is derived from traditional batch-churning methods, with the butter makers having spent an average of 20,000 hours, or 10 years, producing butter.

“We have a strong tradition of making butter on the West Coast that dates back to 1893. The process has been refined over generations to become both an art and a science. We combine modern facilities with traditional craftsmanship to produce a premium product. After making butter for so many years everyone has developed an eye for it and instinctively knows when it is right, without relying on automation,” said Dean Robinson butter production manager.

Westgold was first launched in 2004 as an export consumer brand. More than eight million blocks are sold into international markets each year, including Australia, China, Singapore, South Korea and Azerbaijan. This figure is set to increase with the development of new markets and product sizes to meet growing consumer demand.