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Fats and Salad/Cooking Oils in the U.S.: Butter, Margarine, Olive Oil, and Beyond


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Fat and oil products are a huge and growing market, with 2011 sales of $9.2 billion projected to near $10.6 billion by 2016. Research supporting the important role of specific types of fat in maintaining health has caused many consumers to rethink the role that fats and oils play in their diets, and marketers have responded by offering an increasing number of products squarely targeting those seeking healthy options. While value is still one of the primary drivers of purchases of fats and oils, with private-label products dominating in a few key categories, the economy has recovered to the extent that consumers are once again making health and convenience budgetary priorities.

This completely new Packaged Facts report examines the U.S. market for fats and oils within the context of broader food industry trends in new product development and marketing. Major categories covered include butter, margarine, mayonnaise, cooking/salad oil, olive oil, cooking sprays, shortening, and popcorn oil. To accommodate the complexities of the U.S. market within shifting socioeconomic contexts, the report investigates not only the sales data, new product introductions, and marketing strategies, but also the lifestyle patterns determining trends in fats and oils.

Custom Packaged Facts consumer survey data provide insight into fats and oils usage, purchasing patterns, and health and wellness trends across consumer demographics, and Experian Simmons Market Research Bureau data provide a detailed look at category-level and brand penetration levels. The report uses Information Resources, Inc. InfoScan Review data to quantify mass-market marketer and brand shares across seven product categories, and SPINSscan data to present category sales breakdowns in the natural and gourmet/specialty channels. Marketer and brand profiles in major categories further define the relationship between consumer attitudes and the market exigencies of product development.


  • Executive Summary
    • Introduction
      • Market Definition: Fats and Oils
      • Report Methodology
    • Market Trends
      • U.S. Fats and Oils Market Approaches $9.2 Billion
      • Market Shares Remain Stable Among Categories
      • Supermarkets Account for 59% of the Market
    • Competitive Trends
      • Farmer Coops, Multinationals Share the Spotlight
      • Acquisitions and Mergers
      • Private-Label Sales Outpace Overall Market Sales
      • Fats and Oils Sales Grow in Natural/Gourmet Outlets
    • Marketing and New Product Trends
      • Fats & Oils Product Introductions Climb Despite Recession
      • Olive Oil Leads in New Product Intros
      • "Private Label" Tag Tops Claims List
        • Table Top Product Claims/Tags for U.S. Fats & Oils Product Introductions, 2007-2011 (number)
      • The "Good" Fats
    • Consumer Trends
      • Majority of Americans Seek Healthy Lifestyles
      • Salad/Cooking Oil Most Frequently Used Fats & Oils Product
      • Packaged Facts Survey Reveals More Shoppers Choosing Margarine
      • Personal/Family Favorites Dictate Product Choice
      • Olive Oil Most Frequently Used Fats and Oils Product
      • Fats and Oils Purchase Patterns at Retail
      • Organic Butter Purchasers Prefer Organic Foods and Beverages
      • Organic Butter Purchasers Favor Gourmet, Artisanal Products
      • Salted Butter Purchasers Less Likely to Focus on Health Goals
  • Market Trends - Highlights
  • Market Trends
    • Introduction
      • Market Definition: Fats and Oils
      • Report Methodology
    • Market Size & Composition
      • U.S. Fats and Oils Market Approaches $9.2 Billion
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Fats & Oils, 2007-2011 (in billions of dollars)
      • Market Shares Remain Stable Among Categories
      • Dollar Sales Stable While Volume Shrinks
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Retail Sales of Fats & Oils by Dollar and Volume Growth, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars and pounds)
      • Butter Tops List of Dollar Growth
        • Table Fats & Oils by Dollar Growth/Loss in SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
      • Supermarkets Account for 59% of the Market
    • Market Outlook
      • Prolonged Economic Concerns Plague Consumers
      • Consumers Willing to Spend More for Quality Groceries
        • Table Consumer Attitudes: Grocery Spending and Product Quality (percent)
        • Table Consumer Attitudes: "Price Not Main Factor in Purchases" and "Spending More on Consumer Products," February 2011 (percent)
      • Food Costs Rise Once More
        • Table Consumer Price Index for Food at Home and Fats & Oils: 2001-2011
      • Butter Prices at a Premium
      • Stealth Downsizing
      • Specialty Fats and Oils Still Affordable
      • Holistic Approach to Wellness
        • Table Consumer Opinion on Healthy Eating Habits, Winter 2010/11 (percent)
      • Fortification Important to Health Perception
      • Fat's Health Halo
      • The Fight Against Trans Fats
      • Omega-3 to the Fore
      • Consumer Confusion Persists Despite Industry Efforts
      • Natural and Organic
        • Table Consumer Opinions on Natural and Organic Products, February 2011 (percent)
      • What Is Natural?
      • Environmental Concerns
      • Sustainability Crucial to Consumer Good Will
      • Girl Scouts Draw Focus on Sustainable Palm Oil
      • "Green" Packaging
      • Food Safety
      • U.S. Fats and Oils Market to Reach $10.6 Billion in 2016
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Fats and Oils, 2011-2016 (in billions of dollars)
  • Competitive Trends - Highlights
  • Competitive Trends
    • Farmer Coops, Multinationals Share the Spotlight
      • Table Leading Marketers of Fats & Oils by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Retail Sales, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
    • Acquisitions and Mergers
    • Private-Label Sales Outpace Overall Market Sales
      • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Retail Sales of Private-Label Fats & Oils by Category, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
    • Trends in Butter
      • Private Label Dominates Butter Category
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Butter by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
    • Trends in Margarine/Spreads/Butter Blends
      • Unilever Leads Faltering Category
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Margarine/Spreads/Butter Blends by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
    • Trends in Mayonnaise and Sandwich Spreads
      • Hellmann's Is Top Selling Mayonnaise Brand
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Mayonnaise and Sandwich Spreads by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
    • Trends in Cooking and Salad Oils
      • Value/Premium Brand Lines Succeed
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Cooking and Salad Oils by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
    • Trends in Olive Oil
      • Pompeian, Private-Label Post Growth
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Olive Oil by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
    • Trends in Cooking Sprays
      • ConAgra's PAM Leads Category
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Microwave Browning/Pan Sprays by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
    • Trends in Shortening
      • Crisco Dominant Force in Shortening Market
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Shortening by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
    • Trends in Popcorn Oil
      • ConAgra's Orville Redenbacher Leads But Loses Share
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Popcorn Oil by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales and Market Share, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
    • Trends in the Natural/Specialty Channel
      • Fats and Oils Sales Grow in Natural/Gourmet Outlets
      • Olive Oil Largest Category in Natural Channel
        • Table Fats and Oils Sales by Category: Natural Channel vs. Gourmet/Specialty Channel, 2010-2011 (in millions of dollars)
      • Top Brands Vary by Channel
  • Marketing and New Product Trends - Highlights
  • Marketing and New Product Trends
    • Fats & Oils Product Introductions Climb Despite Recession
      • Table Number of U.S. Food Product Introductions: Overall vs. Fats & Oils, 2001-2011
    • Olive Oil Leads in New Product Intros
      • Table Number of U.S. Fats and Oils Introductions by Product Category: Reports and SKUs, 2007-2011
    • "Private Label" Tag Tops Claims List
      • Table Top Product Claims/Tags for U.S. Fats & Oils Product Introductions, 2007-2011 (number)
    • Natural-Related Claims Maintain Growth
      • Table Number of New Fats & Oils Product Introductions by Top Natural-Related Package Tags/Claims, 2007-2011
    • Health-Related Claims Reclaiming Lost Ground
      • Table Number of New Fats & Oils Product Introductions by Top Health-Related Package Tags/Claims, 2007-2011
    • Top Marketers Change Year to Year
      • Table Leading Marketers of Fats & Oils in the U.S. Based on Number of Stock-Keeping Unit (SKU) Introductions, 2010 vs. 2011
    • U.S. Leads Global Fats & Oils Introductions
      • Table Number of Fats & Oils Introductions by Country, 2007-2011 (number of reports)
    • Trends in Health and Wellness
      • The "Good" Fats
      • Types of Fats
      • Olive Oil, Canola Oil Score Health Claims
      • Functional Fats
      • Inherently Healthy Oils
      • Olive Oil Goes Mainstream But Keeps Upscale Edge
      • Brand Profile: Pompeian Olive Oil
      • Canola Oil: The Preferred Additive
      • Lesser-Known Healthy Oils
      • Coconut Oil Craze
      • Brand Profile: La Tourangelle Premium Oils
      • Less Is More: Spray Oils
      • Enhanced and Flavored Spray Oils
    • Trends in Indulgence and Flavor
      • "Flavor Carriers"
      • Specialty Fats Heat Up
      • Flavored Mayonnaise and Gourmet Sandwich Spreads
      • Brand Profile: Empire Mayonnaise Co.
      • Flavored Butters
      • Artisanal/Small-Batch Butters and Ghee
      • Brand Profile: Kerrygold Butter
    • Trends in the Natural and Organic Market
      • Interest in Natural and Organic Products Remains Strong
      • Brand Profile: Earth Balance
  • Consumer Trends - Highlights
  • Consumer Trends
    • Shopper Insights
      • Methodology
      • Majority of Americans Seek Healthy Lifestyles
      • Groceries and Consumer Health Goals
      • Low Sugar, High Fiber Are Most Popular Healthy Product Positionings
      • Shopper Use of Grocery Coupons
        • Table Sources of Coupons Used During Grocery Shopping Trips, March 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers who use coupons)
    • Fats and Oils Usage Trends
      • Salad/Cooking Oil Most Frequently Used Fats & Oils Product
        • Table Percentage of U.S. Households Using Fats and Oils Products by Type, Brand, Amount: 2008-2011 (percent)
      • Packaged Facts Survey Reveals More Shoppers Choosing Margarine
        • Table Type of Brand Purchased During Grocery Shopping Trips: Margarine vs. Oils, March 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers)
      • Sale Products Popular in Margarine Category
        • Table Type of Sale or Promotion: Margarine vs. Oils, 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers)
      • Personal/Family Favorites Dictate Product Choice
        • Table Motivations (Other Than Price/Promotion) for Selection of Products Purchased: Margarine vs. Oils, March 2011 (percent of U.S. grocery shoppers)
      • Olive Oil Most Frequently Used Fats and Oils Product
      • Olive Oil Also Considered Healthiest Fat/Oil
        • Table Percent of U.S. Consumers Using Fats & Oils During Past Three Months: By Type, 2011 (percent)
        • Table Agreement with the Statement, "Which of the following fats or oils do you consider to be the healthiest choices?", 2011 (percent of U.S. Consumers)
      • Salted Butter Most Frequently Used Butter Variety
      • Mustard Most Frequently Used Sandwich Spread/Flavoring
        • Table Percentage of U.S. Butter Purchasers by Type Used in Past Three Months: 2011 (percent)
        • Table Percent of U.S. Households Using Sandwich Spreads and Flavorings During Past Three Months: By Type, 2011 (percent)
      • Light Mayonnaise Considered Healthiest Fats & Oils Spread
        • Table Agreement with the Statement, "Which of the following sandwich spreads or flavorings do you consider to be the healthiest choices?", 2011 (percent of U.S. households)
      • Fats and Oils Purchase Patterns at Retail
        • Table Purchasing Indexes by Retail Channel/Chain and Butter Varieties, 2011 (U.S. butter purchasers)
        • Table Purchasing Indexes by Retail Channel/Chain and Oil Varieties, 2011 (U.S. grocery shoppers)
      • Fats and Oils Purchase Patterns and Select Psychographics
      • Organic Butter Purchasers Favor Gourmet, Artisanal Products
      • Salted Butter Purchasers Less Likely to Focus on Health Goals
        • Table Purchasing Indexes by Natural/Organic-related Psychographics and Butter Varieties, 2011 (U.S. butter purchasers)
        • Table Purchasing Indexes by Natural/Organic-related Psychographics and Fats & Oils Purchases, 2011 (U.S. grocer shoppers)
        • Table Purchasing Indexes by Gourmet/Upscale-related Psychographics and Butter Varieties, 2011 (U.S. butter purchasers)
        • Table Purchasing Indexes by Gourmet/Upscale-related Psychographics and Oil Varieties, 2011 (U.S. grocery shoppers)
        • Table Purchasing Indexes by Health/Wellness-related Psychographics and Butter Varieties, 2011 (U.S. butter purchasers)
        • Table Purchasing Indexes by Health/Wellness-related Psychographics and Oil Varieties, 2011 (U.S. grocery shoppers)
    • Fats and Oils Demographic Patterns
      • Who's Using Butter
      • Who's Using Cooking/Salad Oil
      • Who's Using Margarine
      • Who's Using Mayonnaise
        • Table Demographic Indexes for Butter Use: By Variety, 2011 (U.S. butter purchasers)
        • Table Demographic Indexes for Oil Use: By Variety, 2011 (U.S. grocery shoppers)
        • Table Demographic Indexes for Margarine/Margarine Spread Use: By Variety, 2011 (U.S. adults)
        • Table Demographic Indexes for Mayonnaise Use: By Variety, 2011 (U.S. households)
  • Looking Ahead - Highlights
  • Looking Ahead
    • Trends and Opportunities
      • Fats and Oils Complete Healthy Diets
      • "Good" Fats Gain Wider Acceptance
      • Omega-3 Trend Maintains Momentum
      • Growing Number of Products Target Health Issues
      • Private-Label Products Sustain Consumer Interest
      • "Green" Concerns Once More a Priority
      • Natural and Organic Continue Move to Mainstream
      • Stricter Guidelines for Natural
      • From Mass Merchandiser to Supercenter
      • E-Marketing Fats and Oils
      • Social Networking: Facebook, Twitter, Then…
      • Location-Based Social Media: Yelp, Foursquare and Consmr
      • Focus on Savings: CPG and Groupon
      • What's Next: Social Media Aggregators and Mobile Connectivity

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