Australians think butter is better, but which brands are spreading?

Angus Kidman 12 October 2016


In the butter-versus-margarine debate, we have a clear sales winner.

Let's talk about butter and margarine (or "bread grease" as it's referred to in some branches of my family). I'm personally more of a margarine fan, but sales data suggests that I'm in a minority. The chart below shows Roy Morgan figures for the percentage of households that purchased butter, margarine or one of those easier-to-spread hybrid "butter blends" in a four-week period.

As you can see, many of us purchase more than one of these, which makes sense (you might have margarine for toast and butter for baking). Indeed, 8.7% of shoppers purchase all three. But you can also see that in the past two years, butter has overtaken margarine as the most popular form of bread grease overall. There's plenty of both still selling, but it seems we're keener on blended cream than blended canola.

Which brands sell the best? For both butter and margarine, supermarket brands are the biggest sellers, which suggests that, as in so many other areas, we're more concerned about price than anything else (with the possible exception of when we're at the airport). That said, for blends, the top two products are both branded (Devondale Dairy Soft and Western Star Spreadable):

Supermarket brand18.0%
Flora Original9.6%
Flora Pro-active8.9%
Meadow Lea Canola7.3%
Supermarket brand29.4%
Western Star19.9%
Western Star Unsalted7.6%
Western Star Salt Reduced6.2%
Devondale Dairy Soft18.1%
Western Star Spreadable13.2%
Supermarket brand12.1%
Devondale Extra Soft9.0%
Western Star Spreadable Salt Reduced7.3%

Something to think about when you butter your toast this morning.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears Monday through Friday on

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