Consumer Food Marketing

Beyond the Recipe

Website / ENewsletters / Digital Marketing / Influencer Marketing

While butter usage is strong and overall perceptions are positive, it faces growing competition from imitation products and other oils and fats. Recipes are always a good way to get people to try a product, but the American Butter Institute needed something better. Something that would position butter against other oils and plant-based imitators.


Our strategy was to shift from simple trial enticement to actively defending butter against competitors by positioning it as fundamental for everyday cooking and baking due to its unique performance and flavor attributes, as well as the fact that it is all-natural. Our education-forward campaign increases understanding of where butter comes from and maintains positive perceptions and encourages increased usage.

  • Go Bold With Butter website pages
  • Go Bold With Butter webpage Butter Is Better
  • Go Bold With Butter Butter Is Better website page comparing butter to non-dairy alternatives
  • Go Bold With Butter website icons featuring a cow, a milk truck, a gauge and butter

Serving as a content hub, a redesigned website features interactive information about where butter comes from, how-to tutorials that demonstrate quick and easy ways to use butter and comparison content that educates visitors about the flavor, performance and nutritional differences between butter and other fats, including vegetable oil, olive oil and coconut oil. The new site's pageviews increased by 509 percent, in part due to highly searchable how-to content as well as a robust inbound campaign.

Every month, subscribers get timely, seasonal ideas for cooking and baking with butter, including quick and easy how-to content, recipes for how people are cooking and entertaining at the the given time and educational content that positions butter as the best choice for home cooks. This content shift resulted in a 30 percent subscriber increase and an average open rate of 19 percent.

Our paid digital efforts included two campaigns: Butter Basics, which put educational content front and center, and Real Butter, which used appetite appeal to communicate both the technical and emotional attributes of butter. The campaigns ran on Facebook, Instagram Pinterest and programmatic to great effect. The Real Butter videos, for example, reached 45 percent more unique visitors compared to previous campaigns and had a view through rate of more than 90 percent.

Go Bold With Butter shrimp & linguine recipe with Bon Appetit

In addition to paid placements, we ran a paid search campaign that shifted emphasis from recipes to focusing on how-to and other butter-related queries. ABI's click-through rate increased more than nine percent and the average cost-per-click was down 45 percent. We also partnered with Bon Appetit and its Basically property to feature a custom article on why butter is best for cooking and baking that included links to our website. There were more than 1.6 million impressions and 18 thousand clicks to the article with an average view time of 3:03, exceeding the benchmark of 1:30.

Historically, we've worked influencers to assist with recipe creation, but now, our influencer program is focusing content on why butter is so important in recipes and how butter performs in a way that no other fat or oil could imitate. Running organically on social media, our influencer generated content received nearly 8.5 million total impressions in one year. Facebook engagements increased by 55 percent and Instagram impressions grew by 380 percent.


Our numbers continue to grow as we expand the American Butter Institute's suite of content, effectively maintaining butter's top spot for cooking and baking, even as alternative fats come in and out of popularity. Thinking beyond the recipe has been the key to success for the American Butter Institute. What's the key to yours?