Who knew something so pure and comforting as butter could elicit such fierce emotions? Well, of course it does, this is MC world and we are nothing if not particular about our brands.
But a note before we start. In this thoroughly scientific investigation it has been necessary to narrow our focus: 1) Only butters have been examined. It has been assumed that margarines, being a synthetic product rather than a lovely natural one, are automatically inferior, socially speaking. 2) The spreadable vs block debate is a minefield demanding its own separate exploration. 3) Although unsalted butter is preferred for baking, when it comes to something to melt on toast, it seems only the obtuse and health freaks can resist the salty crystal.
Self-actualisation – Président
Or, for those with deep pockets, Echiré (which even has its own appellation). French butter is to other dairy spreads what the wines of Burgundy are to those of the New World. These pale lactic butters (to do with the presence of lactic acid which lends a slight tang) tend to be more popular on the continent than in the UK, our home-produced butters being of the creamy variety. Hence the attraction. What better way to show that you are a cut above the common butter-eating class than by demanding something that not everyone likes?
Esteem – Yeo Valley
One word: organic. And Yeo Valley are nothing if not the kings of organic dairy produce.
Love/belonging – Lurpak
Before Borgen, before The Killing, before Arne Jacobsen, there was Lurpak. And bacon. Basically the Danes once owned breakfast. It is still easy to appreciate Lurpak’s understated lack of pretension. Which is probably why two thirds of it ends up in the UK.
Safety – Anchor
The cheery yellow wrapper. The happy cows. The nostalgia. This is all about your mum treating you to a knob of better on your potatoes at tea. And now that Anchor’s being produced in the UK rather than New Zealand, you can get over your food miles guilt.
Physiological – Country Life
You can see what they’re doing here. By slipping in the word ‘country’, and turning the Y into a tree, they think they’ll conjure up images of small-scale producers living a simple life amid rolling hills. Rather than big supermarkets and sister brands such as Cathedral City cheese. Well you are way too sophisticated to fall for that.