Wednesday, 11 December 2013
U.S. butter consumption reaches highest level in 40 years !
Driven by the movement toward food that contains natural ingredients as well as the foodie and gourmet cooking trends, butter consumption in the United States has reached its highest level in 40 years, dairy industry leaders say.
Where margarine and other spreads were once hailed as healthier alternatives to butter, the pendulum may have swung back in butter's favor. That matters in Wisconsin, where nearly 12,000 dairy farms and their 1.3 million cows annually produce 3.2 billion gallons of milk, the raw material for butter.
In the middle of the trend is Grassland Dairy Products Inc. in Greenwood, whose plants make about a third of the nation's butter. Grassland is the largest family-owned butter company in the United States.
"We're busy," said Trevor Wuethrich, a vice president at Grassland and the fourth generation of the Wuethrich family to work at the company, which was founded by John Wuethrich in 1904. "We're definitely seeing butter consumption go up."
Busy, too, is Al Bekkum, whose family-owned Nordic Creamery in Westby is hard-pressed to meet demand for its butter. "At the end of the week — every week — our coolers are empty," Bekkum said. "We just can't keep up."
Some of the increase in butter consumption is due to a shift in consumer preferences away from processed foods, artificial ingredients and trans fats derived from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month began the process of banning trans fats from the American food supply.
"They (consumers) want to see something that is wholesome and not a lot of other ingredients in it," Smukowski said. "They are looking for something that is pure and good to eat."
"Butter is as natural as you can get," Wuethrich said. "It's cream and salt."
More on this story here.