Simplicity the key as West Coast butter sales boom

A Hokitika dairy company is celebrating a major sales milestone, and says consumer demand for natural fats is behind the surge.

New Zealand sales of Westgold butter have just past the three million mark.

Produced in Hokitika by Westland Milk Products, Westgold is marketed as the 'everyday gourmet butter'. 

Westland General Manager Marketing and Innovation Hamish Yates said consumers are looking for natural products.

"Globally, we are seeing an increasing consumer demand for natural, wholesome foods, and a return to the simplicity that products such as butter offer," he said.

"The West Coast has New Zealand's highest proportion of jersey and jersey-cross cows, which are renowned for producing milk high in butterfat. We think this, combined with our traditional churning technique, helps make Westgold butter so special," said Mr Yates.

Plant Supervisor Adam Gorrie on the Westland Gold production line.
Plant Supervisor Adam Gorrie on the Westland Gold production line. Photo credit: Supplied

He also believes people appreciate where the butter has come from.

"We find that there is a real appeal for the West Coast from North Island customers, who associate the region's rugged beauty with a more natural product," he said.

The three million sales milestone has been achieved in just three years, following the product's domestic launch in 2015. Westgold has only two ingredients - cream and salt.

Recent reports indicate that demand for butter, cream and other dairy-rich products continues to increase globally, in line with consumers' renewed taste for natural fats.

International retail butter sales are expected to expand by 2.9 percent to (US) $19.4 billion in 2018, outpacing the 1.9 percent growth in sales volumes, according to Euromonitor International.

Westgold was first launched in 2004 as an export consumer brand. 

More than eight million blocks are sold into international markets each year, including Australia, China, Singapore, South Korea and Azerbaijan. 

The company says that figure is set to increase with the development of new markets and product sizes to meet growing consumer demand.