Adding value though packaging: Lurpak’s Butterbox

Post by David Nichols, Group Managing Partner and Head of Invention

How do you keep driving profitable growth of a leader brand, bringing in new users and delighting current ones, when it already has a wide range of variants? One option is stretching into new categories, but this is a risky business.

Harnessing the power of packaging different way to grow, with a great example finding its way into our fridge this week: the new ‘Butterbox’ pack from Lurpak, the UK’s leading butter brand. This is the latest ‘chapter’ in Lurpak’s long running ‘Good food deserves Lurpak’ campaign, created by W+K, which celebrates everyday cooks using Lurpak to transform ordinary ingredients into extraordinary food. The campaign launched in 2007 (see ad below) and has run for 13 years, helping double sales (59,000 tonnes in 2019 vs. 28,000 tonnes in 1999) and winning a Gold for Effectiveness award at Cannes.

This looks like a really smart bit of core renovation:

  • Brings positioning to life – the fridge pack is another fresh chapter in the consistent brand story about flavour exploration and celebrating the joy of cooking. This new new communication (below) dramatizes how the Butterbox makes it easier/less messy to throw a knob of butter in the pan as you cook up a storm.

  • Strong insight – fridge mess created by butter with foil packaging is something that clearly irritates cooks like my wife (see below), who instantly saw the benefit of a clean, neat box in the fridge. This will no doubt have been an insight they found whilst staying close to their core target: foodie cooks.

  • Simple to understand – You don’t need a sophisticated and costly marketing campaign to launch this innovation: the benefit of the pack is self evident.
  • Fully Recyclable – Arla could have used plastic to create an amazing pack solution, but stuck to their brand principle of 100% natural and used fully recyclable carboard.

The only aspect of the Butterbox I’d question is the pricing. Pack format innovation has the potential to drive not only penetration but also premiumisation for profitability, as shown in this previous post on the WD-40 brand. But the Butterbox seems to be priced at a discount per 100g vs. the classic foil pack, which is surprising given the added value of the new format. Maybe this is a short-term tactic to drive trial, by getting the unit price under £1. Given the smaller pack size, ‘line-pricing’ with the foil pack at £2.00 would mean a 10% premium, but even this sounds small.


A great innovation from a leading brand: based in a strong insight from the core target and adding real value whilst reinforcing the core brand credentials.  If only all innovation was made this way.