Butter Supplies Tight, But We Don’t Have a ‘Butter Shortage’ Today

Is there really a butter shortage? While some news reports may suggest otherwise, the answer is no—there is not a butter shortage.

While there isn’t a shortage, the U.S. is experiencing tight stocks, prices that remain elevated, slightly lower production than we had last year, and higher exports of butter. Competition for butter is high, too. All these factors together mean prices are likely to remain elevated through the holiday season and supplies will remain tight compared to last year.  

How did we get here? It comes down to supply and demand. There is 22% less butter in storage in October 2022 than there was in October 2021 (USDA). Butter also costs 24% more today than one year ago (DOL). But neither of these factors equate to a “butter shortage”. In fact, they are linked—when there is less of something, it costs more. It also means that buyers will scramble to get their hands on butter—and possibly more than they need—before their neighbor or competitor. And media reports citing butter shortages only amplify that impulse, sending large buyers and individual shoppers into a frenzy. Grocery shoppers are not the only individuals out there buying butter. There are also buyers for grocery stores responsible for keeping shelves stocked and buyers for restaurants and institutions whose job is to make sure butter is on the menu. While prices are higher than last year, butter remains available.

To read the rest of the story, please go to: International Dairy Foods Association