Over 2016-2018, butter had to be imported to supply the market as a result of the sharp drop in local production. It should be noted that this is not common given that Argentina is self-sufficient in dairy products.
In view of the shortage of butter and the need to improve profitability, companies increased the price substantially, which almost doubled overall inflation during 2017. Although many hypermarket chains and supermarkets imported butter from neighbouring countries, such as the Conaprole brand in Uruguay, the shortage in gondolas was very noticeable.
Although margarine and spreads registered a drop in retail sales, the drop was not as sharp as the one seen by butter. According to industry sources, this is because many consumers decided to replace butter with margarine and spreads given their lower price per kilo.
Mastellone Hnos SA is the leader in butter and spreads in Argentina. The company is leading thanks to the strength and tradition of the brand La Serenísima, synonymous with quality among Argentinians.
The level of innovation in butter and spreads is largely negligible in Argentina. The variety of options is very limited, and this is mainly explained by the economic and financial crisis that the main companies in the sector are going through.
Advertising of margarine and spreads is rare but the years 2017 and 2018 were exceptions. Companies took advantage of the shortage of butter, the main competing product, and the more competitive price to carry out advertising campaigns to boost consumption.
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