Five-quid Lurpak melts the butter brand’s public perceptionss
July 13th, 2022, Stephan Shakespeare

Five-quid Lurpak melts the butter brand’s public perceptionss

Sometimes a brand becomes a symbol of something larger than itself. Occasionally this is intentional: look at Ben & Jerry’s and their outspoken position on the Black Lives Matter Movement. In other cases, though, companies and products can reflect the issues of the day without ever quite intending to do so.

Lurpak is among the most recent and most high-profile examples, with the butter brand becoming a microcosm of the cost of living crisis in some quarters. Prices hit £5 for a 500g tub in certain retailers, and the resulting public outcry has – according to data from YouGov BrandIndex UK – cut through its public perceptions like a hot knife through some kind of dairy spread.


Buzz scores, which measure whether consumers have heard anything positive or negative about a brand, plummeted from 6.9 to -15.5 (-22.4) between June 23 (when stories about Lurpak’s higher price were reported in national outlets) and July 10. This negative coverage has had a direct impact on public sentiment: Impression scores, which track overall views of a brand among the public, more than halved in the same timeframe, falling from 41.8 to 18.4 (-23.4). The same goes for Reputation scores, which crashed from 22.9 to 11.0 (-11.9), and – in perhaps unsurprising news – the Value for Money metric, which went from solidly positive (9.8) to solidly negative (-8.6): a decline of 18.4 points.

Since the beginning of the initial Lurpak controversy, further stories have highlighted the fact that a 750g tub of its butter sells for £7.25 and a 900g tub goes for £9 in some supermarkets. Whether the story translates into fewer sales or not – or whether competitors such as Aldi’s Nordpak benefit at its expense – remains to be seen. But it is not unheard of for a brand to become a kind of bellwether for the cost of living: the price of Freddos, for example, is a regular source of social media outrage. The same fate may yet befall Lurpak if the brand does not do enough to butter up the public.

This article originally appeared in City AM