Kerrygold maker Ornua has contested claims by a German consumer magazine for labelling the butter as a ‘germ-filled health risk’, according to The Irish Times.
The German Stiftung Warentest rated the quality of 30 butters, with Kerrygold being the only one to be rated ‘inadequate’, due to it containing a very high number of germs, according to the magazine.
Ornua maintained there were no health issues with its product and suggested that the issue may have come from a possible interruption of refrigeration after the company left its plant in the west of Germany.
“We hope that consumers won’t lose trust in our brand and know we offer a high-quality product,” Regine Schlei, a spokeswoman for Ornua Deutschland, told the Irish paper.
Schlei added that the consumer magazine purchased the tested product in November but that she didn’t know how it had tested the product.
“We have the documentation from then and we have no doubts whatsoever about our hygiene standards,” she said.
The consumer magazine is part of a highly-influential consumer foundation that independently tests products and services for the German market.
Ornua recently reported record double-digit volume growth for the Kerrygold brand in Germany during 2017, which, along with the US, is one of the company’s key markets.
During that time, the company expanded its production plant at Neukirchen-Vluyn, bringing the total investment in the facility to €60 million.
The staple Irish butter was introduced in Germany in 1973 and has been a success story of premium Irish produce in a price-conscious German market.
While Kerrygold remains popular among Germans, it is facing competition from discounter Lidl, which has introduced its own brand version ‘Lidl Milbona Golden Hills Irische Butter’. Danish retailer Arla also offers its no-name Irish butter in discount retailers.
© 2018 - Checkout Magazine by Kevin Duggan