There’s a lot going for new UK organic butter brand All Things Butter, from its entrepreneurial founders to its strategy to donate a portion of sales to charity, but could the yet-to-be-released product range truly disrupt the market?
The UK organic food and drink market has seen volume declines since October 2021 after a period of a steady increase in total market volume share. In recent months, consumers have been trading down on organic milk in particular, as its cost jumped 21.5% to 20ppl versus 18ppl for conventional, with organic sales volumes down 15.3 versus -3.3% for conventional milk. British shoppers have also been buying less block butter, switching away from brands to own-label products as well as cheaper non-dairy spreads.
But co-founders Thomas Straker and Toby Hopkinson are of the opinion that there is a niche for a new organic butter brand in retail. Straker – who owns Notting Hill eatery Straker’s and recently opened Flat Bread at the Battersea Power Station’s Arcade Food Hall – and Hopkinson, who helped to grow soft drinks brand TRIP in the UK, both share business know-how in the food industry. The duo have secured a listing in a supermarket chain from November and talks to secure a farm store distributor are on-going. The butters will also be sold direct-to-consumer through the brand's website.
In addition to that, All Things Butter has secured £530,000/$656,300 in pre-seed funding ahead of the launch from investors including Adam Levene and Barbie film producer Thomas Ackerley. The brand has also generated a buzz on social media, having attracted around 35,000 Instagram followers.
But will the internet buzz translate into high sales volumes? Speaking to DairyReporter, Hopkinson told us: "The butter industry has faced a difficult time over the last 30 or so years with the likes of butter alternatives growing on supermarket shelves, whilst consumers are increasingly replacing butter with cooking oils in their day to day cooking. We hope with our platform we can educate the consumer that buying fantastic butter can significantly elevate your everyday cooking and can act as a strong replacement over olive oil or with our flavoured butter, even substituting a pasta sauce."
All Things Butter products will be priced between £3.00-£3.50 at 250gs. Four SKUs will be launched initially, including salted, unsalted and a chili-flavored version. The butters are double-churned at Somerset-based Brue Valley Farm, and 1% of revenues will be donated to support the British agricultural industry.
Asked whether he has any concerns around demand and pricing, Hopkinson told us that the company will aim to pass any further savings due to from falling commodity prices to the consumer. "Cream price is on the decline and we will continue to pass those savings onto the consumer as it hopefully will continue to come down," he said.
"Our mission at All Things Butter is to get more consumers using butter in their everyday cooking due to its excellent taste but also importantly due to the fact that butter is a natural ingredient which holds nutritional value."