Companies and Brands

Avoid All Butter Brands, Except These 8

Traditional wrapped butter sticks on white background
Kellis / Shutterstock.com

Americans have had an on-again, off-again relationship with butter. Butter consumption in the United States was at its highest point from 1930-35, but it began dropping steadily in the 1940s. This was due, in large part, to World War II rationing. Then, in the 1950s, butter usage dropped even more sharply thanks to the rise in margarine’s popularity. This precipitous drop continued for decades. If you grew up in the 1970s-80s, you may never remember seeing butter in your childhood refrigerator. Margarine was all the rage. Butter, on the other hand, had become a pariah due to concerns about its high level of saturated fat.

Americans’ butter consumption reached its lowest point in 1990. That decade saw a slight upturn in butter usage, but the churned dairy product experienced a true renaissance in the early 2000s as more people began shying away from margarine.

A Love Affair Rediscovered

a heart shaped butter pat melting on a non-stick surface
Source: eelnosiva / Shutterstock.com
Now that margarine has fallen out of favor with many people, Americans are rediscovering their love of real butter.

Today, according to The Food Institute, the average American consumes approximately 6.3 pounds, or about 25 sticks of butter each year. While that is a far cry from the 1930s when the average American consumed over 17 (!) pounds of butter per year, it does reveal that folks in the U.S. have fallen in love with butter again. This is further evidenced by the sheer number of butter brands in your local grocery store. With so many to choose from, it can leave shoppers feeling a bit butter-befuddled. That’s why we set out to find the very best butter brands on the market today. (And if you enjoy a breakfast of buttered toast alongside your eggs, here are 7 egg brands that you should definitely try.)

24/7 Wall St. consulted numerous food review websites along with customer reviews on retail sites to compile this list. Butter preference is inherently subjective, so we used an aggregate scoring system to rank each brand. Eight butter brands landed at the top of our score sheet. They are listed from eighth to first place. The prices listed were accurate at the time of publication and may vary by store or location.

8. Kroger

Kroger unsalted butter
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Yes, it is a store brand. But don’t let that fool you. Kroger butter is actually quite good.
  • Parent Company: Kroger
  • Expected Price: $4.29
  • Size: 16 oz

Kroger Butter Review

Kroger butter with olive oil and sea salt
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Kroger butter comes in several different varieties, including olive oil and sea salt.

We were surprised that a generic store brand made the list, but Kroger’s butter brand certainly earned this spot.

Like many brands, there are different varieties of Kroger butter, including salted, unsalted, olive oil with sea salt, and so forth. Speaking of the store brand’s unsalted butter, one reviewer said it is, “sweet and creamy with a touch of grassy flavor that tells you it was made from good quality milk. I think this is the best butter to buy for baking.”

And, since it is a generic brand, it is among the cheapest butter brands on this list. Win, win!

7. Vital Farms

Vital Farms sea salted butter
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Vital Farms butter is committed to “improve the lives of people, animals, & the planet through food.” That commitment to quality shows up in this tasty butter.
  • Parent Company: Vital Farms
  • Expected Price: $4.99
  • Size: 8 oz

Vital Farms Butter Review

Vital Farms unsalted butter
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Vital Farms offers salted and unsalted varieties of butter.

Vital Farms’ mission is “to bring ethically produced food to the table.” Animal welfare and sustainable farming practices are part of the company’s M.O.

The butter from Vital Farms has a savory flavor and a high-fat content (85%). By law, U.S. butter must contain a minimum of 80% butterfat. Vital Farms butter is well above this minimum level.

With this high fat content, one reviewer said Vital Farms butter is perfect for, “all your favorite buttery recipes like Fettuccine Alfredo.”

6. Land O’Lakes

Land O'Lakes butter
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Land O’Lakes removed Mia, a kneeling Native American woman, from its logo in 2020.
  • Parent Company: Land O’Lakes
  • Expected Price: $5.49
  • Size: 16 oz

Land O’Lakes Butter Review

Land O'Lakes butter
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Land O’Lakes is the top-selling butter brand in the U.S.

Land O’Lakes is the most well-known and best-selling butter brand in America. Its popularity is well-founded.

Reviewers noted that Land O’Lakes is sweeter than many other brands on this list. If you like an extra hint of sweetness, then this might become your favorite brand of butter.

One reviewer noted that Land O’Lakes butter is, “known for its consistent taste and texture and is easy to find in most stores.”

A customer concurred, saying in their review, “I have been using this butter since a child, the taste is amazing, it is smooth and creamy. I can eat it plain.”

Well, we’re not so sure about eating plain butter, but Land O’Lakes is definitely one of the best butter brands you’ll find in your grocer’s dairy section.

5. Horizon Organic

Horizon Organic buttter
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Since Horizon Organic is, well, organic, it is among the priciest butters on the list.
  • Parent Company: Platinum Equity
  • Expected Price: $8.19
  • Size: 16 oz

Horizon Organic Butter Review

Horizon Organic butter
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Horizon Organic’s motto is, “We’re leading the way to a healthy, happy future for all.”

Yes, this butter is pricier than the others because it is completely organic and uses milk from pasture-raised cows. (Pasture-raised cows are defined as cows that graze outside at least 120 days per year.) However, you might find that this butter is well worth the extra cost.

There is almost no hint of sweetness in this butter. Instead, as one reviewer put it, “Horizon reminded us of yummy extra-virgin olive oil.”

One customer remarked, “It melts perfectly and tastes better than any organic butter I’ve ever bought.”

If a rich, savory butter is your jam (so to speak), then Horizon Organic might become your go-to brand.

4. Plugrà

Plugrà butter
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Plugrà is a European-style butter that is a favorite among professional chefs.
  • Parent Company: Dairy Farmers of America
  • Expected Price: $2.96
  • Size: 8 oz

Plugrà Butter Review

Plugrà butter
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Plugrà contains 82% butterfat.

Plugrà is a European-style butter. With 82% butterfat, Plugrà doesn’t quite reach the fat level of Vital Farms, but it is still higher than most U.S. brands. This higher fat content makes for a super creamy butter that is perfect for baking.

One reviewer said, “[Plugrà] is so creamy and has just the right amount of salt to add depth and dimension to the butter.”

A customer raved, “OMG YUM! [This] is some of the best butter I’ve ever used! Delicious [and] def creamy!”

The price point is also quite low, especially considering the quality of this butter. Any butter lover owes it to themselves to try Plugrà.

3. Vermont Creamery

Vermont Creamery butter
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
The label is not wrong. “Rich & Creamy” is a perfect description of this butter.
  • Parent Company: Land O’Lakes
  • Expected Price: $3.48
  • Size: 8 oz

Vermont Creamery Butter Review

Vermont Creamery butter
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Vermont Creamery butter is also available in a sea salt variety.

Vermont Creamery matches the butterfat content of Plugrà at 82%. The flavor leans more towards savory than sweet.

One customer noted, “This butter has a unique flavor – a little bit sour which modulates the other butter flavors wonderfully. This butter is so good, I give it as gifts.”

A reviewer said, “This is good enough to be centerpiece butter but affordable enough to be everyday butter. You could practically serve this as a starter course at a dinner party—that’s how good it is.”

Vermont Creamery butter is wonderful as a spread or for use in any number of recipes. One customer noted that this butter even improved the quality of their store-bought mac-and-cheese mix.

2. Challenge

Challenge butter
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
The Challenge Cream & Butter Company opened in 1911.
  • Parent Company: Challenge Dairy
  • Expected Price: $5.79
  • Size: 16 oz

Challenge Butter Review

Challenge butter
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Challenge butter features an elk on its logo.

The company’s first president, J.P. Murphy, purportedly chose the elk as the company’s logo since male elk “challenge” each other for dominance.

Challenge butter offers a distinct contrast to sweeter butters such as Land O’Lakes. It is much more savory than sweet. And, if you opt for the salted version, you’ll enjoy a very (but not overly) salty flavor.

This butter contains no artificial ingredients. The salted butter contains just two ingredients: pasteurized cream and salt.

One customer said, “I feel this brand is produced with family in mind and would only produce the best quality product for the consumer. This is a butter that [I] serve to my family without any worry about chemicals or additives.”

Another said, “I love this butter. It’s so rich and creamy. It’s the way butter should taste.”

If there was a butter version of Mt. Rushmore, Challenge butter would absolutely be on it.

1. Kerrygold

Kerrygold butter
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Kerrygold butter came out on top in our survey.
  • Parent Company: Ornua Foods
  • Expected Price: $4.27
  • Size: 8 oz

Kerrygold Butter Review

Kerrygold butter
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
The milk from those Irish grass-fed cows makes an incredibly delicious butter.

While the scores among the top four butters were close, Kerrygold edged out the competition. This butter comes from Ireland and is made from the milk of grass-fed cows. This gives Kerrygold a flavor that is unique from U.S. brands.

As the name suggests, the butter has a beautiful gold color. One reviewer even noted that they considered using this butter as a model for an accent color in their kitchen! And the taste…it’s as good as it gets.

One reviewer said, “This was the only butter we could smell the second we opened the wrapper. An intoxicating odor of fat, salt, cream, and grass wafted toward our nostrils.” That same reviewer noted that Kerrygold hit all the right buttery notes of creaminess, saltiness, sweetness, and sharp savoriness.

The flavor and texture make Kerrygold the ultimate versatile butter. Another reviewer noted, “It is special enough…to slather on a charcuterie board or whip into a fluffy buttercream frosting and basic enough to melt into a sauce or stew.”

Customers completely agree with these reviews. One said, “[Kerrygold is the] absolute best butter there is. You can see and taste the difference. [It is] the only butter I buy…[it offers] the wonderful taste of real butter.”

In the world of butter, Kerrygold is the gold standard.

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