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Justin Fox

Butter Is Booming, Whole Milk Is Back and Dairy Is Surviving

Dietary trends come and go, but for four decades this industry has been finding ways to keep consumption growing.



Photographer: Rodrigo Ruiz Ciancia/Moment RF/Getty Images

With Americans staying home more than usual because of the pandemic, and doing lots of baking and cooking to pass the time, this has been a banner year for butter.  

Land O’Lakes, the Minnesota-based dairy cooperative, expects to sell 275 million to 300 million pounds of the stuff this year — a 20% increase — as rising retail demand more than makes up for lost restaurant business. Nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, butter production is up 6% over the first nine months of the year and is on track to top two billion pounds for the first time since 1943.