< Back to news 23 July, 2018

B-utterly bank breaking: butter prices soar by 20% ahead of Bake Off

Beast from the East wreaks havoc months on with dairy price increases. As Brits around the country prepare for the return of the Great British Bake Off, star bakers could see their purses lighter than their bakes, as butter prices soar by 20%.

As well as butter, a daily pint of milk or the UK’s favourite cheese sandwich[i] could cost more for the rest of 2018 and well into next year, thanks to the ongoing wrath of the Beast from the East.

Prices of many dairy products are sky-high due to the terrible conditions that hit the UK’s shores at the start of the year throwing many industries, including dairy, into turmoil. The everyday consumer could feel the brunt of this turbulent time for months to come yet, Beacon suggests.

Figures from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (ADHB), taken from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), show UK prices of block butter, cheddar and milk are on the rise. YoY[ii] dairy price increases from May 2017 to May 2018 identify butter as being hit hardest; up 21%, equating to +32p per 250g. Milk and cheddar both see a 2% increase, equating to +13p per kg for cheddar and +1p per pint for pasteurised milk.


The chaotic weather and freezing temperatures prevented dairy herds from accessing grazing as early as normal, resulting in a 2.1% decrease in the UK’s monthly milk production YoY[iii] (March 2017 to March 2018). As a result, the normal spring flush of milk hasn’t entered the market. This reduced supply, after shortages last year, means prices are inevitably rising, and these ongoing price increases may be felt until well into 2019.

Paul Connelly, Beacon MD, working alongside one of Beacon’s leading paul-connelly-md-beaconsuppliers Pensworth Dairy, comments: “With the Great British Bake Off just around the corner, bakers new and seasoned could be feeling the pinch with the rocketing price of butter! The Beast from the East is still having a major impact, and there are no signs of dairy prices decreasing until at least early 2019. Our supplier insight shows that as well as butter, milk and cheese prices are also at a high. While we’re not suggesting it’s time to panic-stock the fridge, people across the UK could find their baking habit, daily cuppa or cheesy treat is costing them more for some time yet.”

To find out more about Beacon click here. Alternatively, call the Beacon team on 01904 695588 and we will discuss how we can help your business become more profitable.


[i] https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/britain-favourite-sandwich-filling-cheese-ham-salad-warburtons-survey-a8353951.html

[ii] http://dairy.ahdb.org.uk/market-information/dairy-sales-consumption/ons-consumer-prices/#.Wz4M5thKgym

[iii] https://dairy.ahdb.org.uk/market-information/#.Ww00_FMvz1x