When it comes to high quality, delicious butter, Irish consumers do not need to look too far to find what they are looking for, and they don’t.
With Ireland’s unique climate for dairy farming and emphasis on grass-fed cattle, Irish butter is the cream of the crop, both locally and internationally.
Despite economic challenges and changing diets, butter and cheese remain as the nation’s top two dairy exports in 2023.
Butter and Spreadable Butter is the 26th ranked category in grocery in Ireland, according to the Top 100 Categories in the 2023 Checkout Top 100 Brands, in association with NIQ, up two places from 28th last year.
While four of the top five Butter and Spreadable Butter brands of 2023 are the same as previous years, one new entry has made the cut, showing that there is still room for innovation within an established market.
Published every August, the Checkout Top 100 Brands is based on branded value sales across the Irish grocery sector, making it the most accurate barometer of the biggest-selling brands in the marketplace.
In compiling the report, NIQ Ireland measures the sales performance of over 5,000 brands from over 200 product classes.
Ireland’s Top 5 Butter and Spreadable Butter Brands
Established in 1962, Kerrygold has undergone many changes but has never compromised on its commitment to quality. One of Ireland’s most successful food brands overall, Kerrygold was the first Irish food brand to reach €1 billion in annual retail sales in 2019. As well as being the number one butter brand in Ireland, it holds the same title in Germany. It is the number two butter brand in the US, and the country's number one imported butter, making it a gold medal winner both at home and abroad.
2 Connacht Gold
Seeing an increase in sales in 2022, Connacht Gold was named the fastest growing butter brand in Ireland. With innovations such as its half-fat butter hero product, and its commitment to supporting Irish farmers, the brand hopes to continue this trajectory. Connacht Gold credits its success to its high quality Irish-farmed milk, and customer loyalty.
Ireland’s top dairy brand is third in the butter rankings, maintaining its place from 2022. Avonmore believes its continued success comes from its ‘commitment to high-quality products, a deep understanding of the consumer and their needs, and continuous innovation.’ While the brand has been diversifying its milk offerings to satisfy demand, with fortified and plant-based options, the approach to butter is a classic approach: if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
A staple in Irish fridges for over 35 years, Dairygold remains committed to making butter in the traditional way, using natural ingredients that are ‘perfectly churned to create its deliciously creamy, Dairygold taste.’ In 2022, they diversified their offerings, launching a plant-based range with items such as their Plant Based Spread and Plant Based B*tter, to better reach consumers avoiding dairy.
5 ÓR–Real Irish Butter
A new addition to the list, this brand entered the national market in 2021 and this year knocked its Cork cohort Bandon Butter out of the top 5 Butter and Spreadable Butter brands ranking. What makes ÓR stand out against other competitors this year is its mix of old and new methods, carrying out a slow churning process and using milk from 250 local family farm milk suppliers.