Here’s Why Butter Prices Are Increasing

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Sorry, home bakers ... but the cost of butter is on the rise. Earlier this month, ​Global Trade​ reported that the price of butter in December 2021 had increased 40% since December of the previous year. ​Food Business News​ also recently shared that butter prices are at a six-year high.


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As with many price hikes in the past two years, these changes are due to ongoing supply chain issues. For starters, there's a low supply of cream right now, and the cream that ​is​ available is expensive. So, "some butter churners have opted to slow production rather than pay high cream prices," according to the article in ​Food Business News​.


Even packaging materials for butter have been increasing, further contributing to lower production. In fact, according to a January 2022 report by the United States Department of Agriculture, butter production in November 2021 was nearly 10% lower compared to November 2020.

Now, that's not to say that the butter section at your local grocery store is about to be totally empty. But if you notice a price tag that's higher than usual, you can chalk it up to the supply chain issues mentioned above.


What are good substitutes for butter?

Of course, the exact price of butter can vary widely depending on your location. For example, if you live in an area with many dairy farms, you may have access to high-quality and affordable butter. But if not, it doesn't hurt to consider common butter substitutes.


Some examples include:

  • Plant-based butter
  • Oil (such as coconut or olive oil)
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Applesauce
  • Mashed banana
  • Plain unsweetened yogurt

When it comes to butter substitutes, bananas are especially useful. After all, they're relatively cheap and easy to find. Mashed banana can also replace butter at a 1:1 ratio in recipes like cookies and muffins, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.