Although butter is more expensive than margarine and spreads, the area is growing as a result of increasing demand for quality products. Although butter is not advertised heavily in Hungary, a Lurpak butter TV advert that suggests cooking is trendy has boosted sales.
Margarine and spreads saw a slight drop in volume sales, partly due to falling household consumption of sandwiches in Hungary. At the same time, value sales increased as consumers opted for more expensive and healthy variants due to rising wages.
In a mature area like butter and spreads, producers try to meet consumer needs by offering healthy products with no additives, such as Naszálytej and Sole-Mizo’s Gazda “E-mentes”. Demand has also been growing for products with low salt and fat content, as well as for lactose free variants.
As the sales leader, Unilever offers several margarine brands (Rama, Flora, Delma and Liga), which are well-known to consumers. However, this alone is insufficient in such a competitive environment, with the firm making efforts to boost sales via advertisements such as TV spots (eg Rama sütomargarin product offered for baking and promoted during Christmas and TV spots for its Flora and Delma brands).
Although the sales share of private label butter and spreads remains limited in Hungary, such ranges have managed to maintain their position by offering good value for money. At the same time, expansion has been hindered by a lack of new product launches and promotions of private label ranges.
The expansion of local firms and new entries is hindered by growing maturity, as well as lifestyle trends, which are resulting in a drop in sandwich and bread consumption and more people skipping traditional breakfasts. Sole-Mizo is the most important local player, selling lactose-free butter and offering its products at reduced rates from time to time.
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