Consumers have chosen butter as their preferred dairy spread, due to its taste and quality over other products, according to an independent survey commissioned by Lakeland Dairies.

The survey found that 71% of consumers preferred the taste of butter to other spreads, while over half choose butter first because it is a natural product which they associate with higher quality.

Simon Muschamp, head of marketing at Pritchitts, a Lakeland Dairies subsidiary, said: “There’s a growing demand for butter, with consumers turning their back on other spreads. Butter sales have risen by 29%, while spreadable oils and fats have fallen by 3.4%.

He added: “The two key drivers for this are the demand for ‘real food’ – especially out-of-home where consumers are looking for quality and value for money – and the trend towards natural foods.”

Lakeland Dairies pure dairy butter is available in salted and unsalted 250g packs, in cartons of 20 or 40.

The company is one of Ireland’s leading farmer-owned dairy co-operatives and processes more than 800 million litres of milk into its range of value-added dairy products.