Butter said to be back ‘soon’

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It’s taken Norway’s dairy cooperative Tine (pronounced “Tee-nah”) longer than expected to produce enough butter to satisfy retail demand, but Tine officials claim it will be back on grocery shelves soon. Supplies, though, may be erratic for months.

Tine butter has been hard to find for months. PHOTO: Tine Dairies

A Tine spokesman told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Monday night that butter would be shipped to wholesalers and on to retailers by next week, if not later this week. On Tuesday, though, newspaper Aftenposten quoted another Tine executive as saying that milk production from Norwegian dairy cattle was still so low that butter production may be under pressure through the springtime, until better cattle feed comes along.

Meanwhile, many stores are still offering butter imported from France, Belgium, Ireland and Germany, allowed in to Norway through an exemption to Norway’s strict market regulations. Some retailers, though, claimed it wasn’t selling as well as expected because Norwegian consumers preferred Norwegian butter. Tine seems to think the same, which would indicate remarkable consumer loyalty given Tine’s failure to produce.

It’s also largely a matter of speculation. Butter supplies were depleted once again at several stores in the Oslo area this week, both from Tine and the foreign producers who came to Tine’s aid during the butter shortage that began last autumn and continued through the Christmas holiday season.

Views and News staff