Last week Bloomberg Businessweek took a deep dive into the cult of Kerrygold butter, which is the very best butter for sale in American grocery stores, and I will accept no arguments. It tastes like, well, butter, not like greasy lubricant, and it makes toast delicious. According to the Ornua Co-operative Ltd., aka the Irish dairy board, sales of Kerrygold have increased by double digits every year for the past nine years, 30% in 2018.
Bloomberg reporter Elizabeth G. Dunn visited Kerrygold headquarters in County Waterford, Ireland, which is surrounded by rolling green Irish hills and farms where cows chomp on grass. The grass diet is what makes Kerrygold taste so much better, a fact substantiated by a University of Wisconsin agriculture professor and butter expert. Kerrygold also only churns butter between March and October, peak grazing season; it freezes extra to distribute for the rest of the year.
Kerrygold’s rise coincided with Americans’ re-embrace of fat in the form of the Atkins and keto diets after decades of fear and abstinence. Americans were a bit wary of Ireland, though. “Research showed that Americans loved Ireland, but when they thought about food they thought about the famine, Guinness, and boiled corned beef and cabbage,” a marketing executive told Dunn. “It was a terrible place to start.” (This is my favorite quote in the whole piece.) So the marketing team decided to work directly with consumers to get the butter into their mouths, via supermarket tastings, and by bringing influencers like David Lebowitz and Sara Kate Gillingham of the blog The Kitchn to Ireland to meet happy cows and experience the Kerrygold magic firsthand.
It’s refreshing to read about something you like and to learn that it’s as good as you want to believe it is. Hooray for Kerrygold! Erin go bragh!