Butter produced by Lakeland Dairies is going head to head with Kerrygold butter on US shop shelves.

At the high-end Whole Foods grocery store in Chicago, the Lakeland Dairies product is retailing at $4.99 (€4.59) per 8oz pack while the Kerrygold price is 30c lower at $4.69 (€4.31) for the same size pack.

At the nearby Jewel Osco grocery store where the Lakeland butter is not yet being stocked, Kerrygold butter is selling at $5.49 (€5.05) per 8oz pack, which is 80c or a 17% higher price than Kerrygold in the Whole Foods store where it competes with the Lakeland product. The Lakeland Dairies product is being sold under the Vital Farms brand, which is a premium food brand in the US, best known for pasture-fed eggs.


Last month, a spokesperson for Lakeland Dairies confirmed that is has entered into an arrangement with the US firm for grass-fed butter.

Lakeland now joins both Tirlán and Dairygold as competitors to the Kerrygold brand on the US market for Irish-produced dairy products.

All three co-ops are members of Ornua, owners of the Kerrygold brand.

There was no evidence of Truly Grass Fed (Tirlán) or Tine Grass Fed (Dairygold) dairy products on the shelves of Walmart, Costco, Whole Foods or Jewel Osco when visited in recent weeks.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal in Chicago, Kate Saul, vice president of marketing at Ornua Foods in North America said that the Kerrygold brand is approaching $1bn (€920m) of sales turnover in the US, with butter sales increasing by 2.4% and specialty cheddar increasing by 4.7% per year.

Both markets are worth about $5bn (€4.6bn) with Kerrygold commanding a 20% market share and positioning itself as a premium food product. The profits generated by the Kerrygold brand are returned to farmers through higher milk prices.