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How do you stand out in a commoditised market?

Yellow fats. The definition of a commodity.

In 2006, the category was in crisis. Butter, with its high saturated fat content, was an outcast. Sales were falling. Arla was worried.

Not just a commodity. A commodity with baggage.

They had fallen behind Unilever and DairyCrest in both volume and value sales. Faced with this accelerating decline, it needed to re-establish its Lurpak brand as not just the category leader, but as an icon.

Douglas, though charming, was not the answer.

So how do you turn around a declining category?

Like all CLEAR strategies, the solution was underpinned by a combination of commercial rigour and a focus on the consumer, delivered through brand, experience and innovation.

Rigorous insight and analysis always underpins great strategy

CLEAR built a deep understanding of how and why consumers shopped for butter (and yellow fat) using qualitative research.

We then conducted a semiotic analysis on two of the most influential factors we uncovered; health and taste. This helped us to understand the possible ways in which we could reconnect Lurpak with a wider audience.

We could’ve stopped there, but instead, we built a quantitative growth map to understand the size of the opportunity, what sort of consumer Lurpak should target using health and taste and how the competition were currently positioned against that opportunity.

This rigour helped unlock a transformational strategic position for the Lurpak brand. 

‘Gourmets’ became the brands’ clear priority.

We created a purpose designed to help Lurpak customers to ‘celebrate great food’.

We wrapped it in a warm, wise and witty personality – positioning the brand as the Champion of Good Food.

These deceptively simple foundations were the basis for bringing the strategy to life across product, comms and experience (winning Wieden’s and Arla a hatful of awards) by replacing Douglas with real cooks and Rutger Hauer’s gravelly, melodious voice. Together, we proved that Good food deserves Lurpak.

The impact

Butter sales increased by 19% between 2007 and 2008 to reach a value of £525m. Eating habits changed – we cooked more from scratch, baked more and, in tandem, we bought more butter and less marg.

Between 2006 and 2008, Lurpak sales grew 39.4%*

Lurpak revenues grew from £165m to £230m.

The brand overtook Flora to become the #1 spreads brand in the UK*

Our work helped Arla to unseat Unilever as the biggest FMCG player in yellow fat*

CLEAR transformation, however you spread it.

This piece of work has transformed how we think about our portfolio, I am convinced it will drive growth. It is robust, simple and inspiring - Communications Director, Arla


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