Butter, Margarine and Oils - US - August 2013
“Health and wellness trends and recent price increases have presented the category with challenges that will need to be addressed with innovative new products and marketing if the brands hope to grow.”
– Sarah Day Levesque, Food Analyst
Some questions answered in this report include:
- How can edible fats and oils appeal to consumers in light of health trends?
- What effect do price changes have on consumer purchasing behavior?
- How can flavor innovation boost category interest?
Combined butter, margarine, spreads, and oils sales have endured ups and downs in the five years prior to 2013, driven in large part by price fluctuations, but also by consumer trends. Despite increasing prices that have helped bolster dollar sales, this category, also referred to here as the edible fats and oils category, faces dwindling consumer interest due to far-reaching health trends that encourage reduced fat and cholesterol intake. Cooking and eating-out habits as well as product innovation also play a role in helping and hindering category sales. A comprehensive understanding of these and other consumer trends, as well as brand activity and new product introductions will help companies as they try to thrive in a sluggish category.
Among the topics covered in this report are:
- What is driving, or hindering, the butter, margarines, spreads, and oils market?
- What is the current market size and future projections?
- How can butter, margarines, spreads, and oil companies address trends in healthy eating and concerns over obesity that may hinder sales growth in the category?
- Which companies have been the most aggressive in marketing, product mix and product innovations, and are in sync with what consumers are most interested in?
- What role does private label/store brand play in this category?
- How has consumption of various types of edible fats and oils changed in the past 12 months?
- What factors influence consumer behavior and what matters most to consumers?
- What potential do innovative new products hold?
For the purposes of this report, Mintel has used the following definitions:
Butter - the USDA requires products sold as butter to be made exclusively from milk, cream, or both, and contain not less than 80 percent by weight of milkfat; may contain salt and/or additional coloring matter.
Butter blends/spreads/margarine - butter blends are a blend of vegetable oil and milkfat, where the milkfat is derived to U.S. specifications of grade A or AA butter, sold in the dairy aisle that can be used as an alternative to butter or margarine; table spreads sold in the dairy aisle that can be used as an alternative to butter or margarine; margarine is a blend of vegetable oil and milk fat with a minimum fat content of 80% the same as butter, but unlike butter reduced-fat varieties of margarine can also be labeled as margarine.
Cooking and salad oils - plant oils that are liquid at room temperature; may be composed of oil from a single type of plant or a combination of plant oils; excludes olive oils, which are a separate segment. Olive oil - oil derived from pressed olives; includes only olive oil used for eating or cooking.
Pan spray - oils in a container that dispenses the product in a mist; used on cookware to prevent food from sticking or burning and to impart flavor to foods. Shortening - solid fat, usually made with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils; used in cooking and baking.
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