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Is budget butter better?

How supermarket butters compared with more expensive brands in our butter taste test.

butter samples on plates
Last updated: 15 November 2022

Organic, grass-fed, cultured, salted, unsalted, hand-churned – how did something as simple as butter become so complicated? And then there's the price. How can what is essentially over-whipped cream vary so much in cost?

We tested 44 butters to find the best butter for your buck. The results might surprise you. Can you budget on butter and still come out on top? You'd butter believe it!

coles australian butter salted

Coles' salted butter was the highest-scoring supermarket brand butter in our test.

Salty goodness

If you're feeling a little salty about grocery prices increasing, you'll be pleased to know that one of the top-scoring salted butters in our test is actually a supermarket own-brand product: Coles Australian Butter Salted. 

Scoring 74%, it tied for third place with Ballantyne Traditional Salted Butter, which costs more than twice as much. 

First and second spots were taken out by Kerrygold and Lurpak, which both cost $2 more per pack than Coles' butter and come from Ireland and Denmark, respectively, so you're paying more for food miles as well. 

Not far behind was Woolworths' brand Macro, which scored 73%. It costs 60 cents more than the Coles butter but is organic. 

Aldi's Beautifully Butterfully trailed a little further behind with a score of 71%. Strangely, the Aldi product wasn't the cheapest of the supermarket butters, priced the same as Woolies' organic offering. Perhaps the German giant isn't always the cheapest shop on the block after all.

westgold unsalted new zealand grass fed butter

Westgold unsalted costs about the same as supermarket butter but was the highest-scoring unsalted butter in our test.

Hold the salt

Competition in the unsalted butter category was stiff and the supermarket brands didn't do quite as well as they did in the salted category. 

Woolworths Macro was the highest-scoring supermarket unsalted butter (71%), scoring considerably better than Coles (68%), Coles Organic (68%) and Aldi Beautifully Butterfully (67%). 

While Woolies' organic label performed reasonably well, the same can't be said for its standard butter, which sat towards the bottom of the pile with scores of 61% (unsalted) and 65% (salted). 

However, if you're after a reasonably-priced unsalted butter, Westgold Unsalted New Zealand Grass-Fed Butter is a good bet: it was the highest-scoring unsalted butter of all and costs $1.25 per 100g, which is about the same as (and even less than) some supermarket butters. Sure, it comes from across the Tasman, but that's still far fewer food miles than butter made in Europe.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.