Butter has overtaken margarine as the spread of choice among Australian grocery shoppers, data from Roy Morgan Research shows.

More than half of Grocery Buyers 14+ (51%) bought butter in an average four-week period last year (up 6% points since 2010) while less than half (49%) bought Margarine (down 9% points).

The spreadable edibles are following converse paths in popularity, with butter-buying up and margarine down every year since 2010. Holding comparatively steady are the hybrid dairy spreads/butter blends, now bought by 29% of grocery buyers in an average four weeks, just slightly below the five-year average of 30%. (Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, January 2010?ecember 2014, average annual sample n = 13,243 Grocery Buyers 14+).

Butter-buyers are more likely than margarine-buyers to enjoy cooking (and to be complimented on it), more likely to enjoy entertaining spontaneously and trying new and exotic foods, more likely to try to buy additive-free, organic and non-GM food (Healthiness is a goal ┬ábut not at the expense of taste), and are more likely than marge-buyers to trust well-known brands more than stores’ own, Roy Morgan said.

Those who bought margarine in the last four weeks are less epicurean than their butter-loving brethren. They are more likely to prefer to clean than cook, to buy frozen or chilled ready-made meals, and to be concerned about their cholesterol levels and weight and more likely to buy the same food every week and have traditional meals at home.

Like butter-buyers, they appreciate taste but for them, it’s about the end result, not the ingredients. They are more likely than butter-buyers to buy more stores’ own products than well-known brands.

Angela Smith, Group Account Director ?Roy Morgan Research, says: ?broader trends over the last few years may be influencing the changing habits of grocery buyers choosing between butter and margarine. Australians are becoming more health-conscious and aware of fat content, more concerned by additives and genetic modification, and more interested in cooking and entertaining.

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