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Butter Crisis?

April 3, 2011

I subscribe to some thrifty-mom and coupon-clipping sites (I am neither thrifty nor a mom, but I do enjoy coupons), and I’ve been hearing some rumblings about butter prices skyrocketing to astronomical levels.  Folks have been saying that butter has reached five dollars per pound and are scrambling for some money-saving coupons.  We don’t use that much butter in my house, so I didn’t have the need to purchase butter until yesterday, a couple months since my last purchase.

I shop at Hannaford, so there are limited butter choices: Land O’ Lakes, Hannaford brand, Cabot, Katie’s, Organic Valley, Horizon Organic.  This week, butter on my shopping list, I did some investigation:

  • Hannaford brand, $2.99 per pound
  • Cabot, $3.09 per pound
  • Katie’s, $3.99 per pound
  • Organic Valley, $3.99 per pound
  • Horizon Organic, $3.99 per pound
  • Land O’ Lakes, $4.47 per pound

What the hell?  Why is LOL so much more expensive? Katie’s, Organic Valley, and Horizon prices were expected – that’s about average for those brands (and organic always gets a premium).  But LOL at nearly five dollars per pound?  Something is wrong.

I have two questions:

  • Why is LOL so much more expensive than the store brands, and Cabot?
  • Why would you buy LOL if you had the option of purchasing a less expensive (and just as good) Cabot butter?

(For the record, I bought Cabot.  My dad is a dairy farmer, and I like to support local farms whenever possible.  I’m trying to talk my dad into selling his milk to Cabot, but he has not yet made the move.)

Anyone know why Land O’ Lakes is charging so much?

Why is this butter so damned expensive?
11 Comments leave one →
  1. April 3, 2011 7:23 pm

    It is possible that this is the mystery brand that had the flame retardant found in it’s butter.

    Here is the salient quote:
    “Schecter wouldn’t name the manufacturer, but he hinted that its headquarters are located near the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area and he said that the company had recently advertised that it was using new and improved wrappers for its butter.”

    If that’s true, perhaps LOL is trying to save up for a legal defense fund?

    • April 3, 2011 7:39 pm

      Isn’t that interesting. Well, I’ve sworn off supermarket butter now anyway, thanks to you.

  2. April 3, 2011 8:08 pm

    Perhaps they decided to finally pay some royalties to the chick on the box?

    Very glad I rarely use butter. Haven’t bought it in months.

  3. Dick Shave permalink
    April 5, 2011 5:42 pm

    I think it’s all about the Power-of-the-Brand. They’ve spent tons of money beating that image into our collective subconscious so that when we grab for butter we grab her. Can you name any other brand around here that’s that old?

    I have a friend convinced that high-class chicken is Perdue. He’s not dumb. I tell him I’ve driven by the Perdue plant in Delaware and it sure don’t smell like roast chicken. He LIKES the higher price – for him it means Quality!

  4. Dick Shave permalink
    April 5, 2011 5:44 pm

    Hey! How come my post above got a little grapey guy as an avatar?

    • April 7, 2011 8:38 pm

      I drew him just for you, Dick.

      • Dick Shave permalink
        April 10, 2011 12:51 pm

        Reminds me of “Goofy Grape” from the Kool-Aid Flavors, maybe a little more belligerent….

  5. April 5, 2011 9:18 pm

    I’m wondering if it’s partially due to the distance LOL needs to travel. Gas prices are effecting all grocery prices – would it stand to reason that the butter that needs to travel the farthest might cost the most?

    I’m a Cabot girl myself. If I can buy a brand that supports local farms, is within 10 cents of the store brand and is cheaper than the national, why would I buy anything else?

    I suppose if it had Fleur de Sel in it, I might be persuaded to change my mind…

  6. June 3, 2011 2:32 pm

    i am at a loss. i love butter. truly. i have pounds of it. both with sweet cream and unsalted. i usually buy the store brand. i don’t care about the cost because i want/need the butter for whatever baking project i may be knee deep in. when i buy, i buy pounds. i feel so conflicted. informed… but conflicted.

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