British Customers Complain Of Anchor Butter 'Disgusting Taste' Since Arla Cut New Zealand Dairy Ties

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By Reissa Su | December 16, 2013 4:11 PM EST

British customers have noticed something different from Anchor, their preferred butter brand. The famous butter brand is no longer produced in New Zealand. Arla, a European dairy company, has used the popular Kiwi brand for years until it decided to cut its ties with New Zealand. 

Arla had previously carried New Zealand butter produced by Fonterra but decided to shift production using facilities in the UK. The company added its logo to the butter packs, but customers complained about the observable butter's taste after the change was implemented.

Tom Bone, an avid butter fan wrote in the Web site, thegrocer.co.uk, he couldn't understand why he doesn't like the taste of creamcrackers or toast. Another customer cited he has been eating Anchor for most of his life because he likes the taste, but since the change, the butter tastes "disgusting." It has turned him off from buying the product again.

However, a spokesman from Arla told the grocer.co.uk that majority of the shoppers liked the change which began in 2012.

The British butter market was once the cornerstone of New Zealand's dairy industry, but Fonterra has left it in 2009 when it sold its Arla Foods Fonterra (AFF) shares. During that time, Fonterra said Arla will continue to use the Anchor brand under a license agreement.

The AFF was established in 2002 to sell block butter, aerosol cream products and spreads in the UK.

Dr. Mike Lee, University of Auckland's senior lecturer in marketing, said it was not surprising that customers will find it confusing when there are major changes since established brands are powerful indicators.

Meanwhile, Fonterra's top executives are set to come up with a three-year business plan for the cooperative. The topmost priority is expected to be Fonterra's largest milk importer, China. Despite the false botulism scare which made international headlines a few months back, New Zealand milk powder continues to be one of Fonterra's in-demand products.

Due to the increasing demand, Fonterra has invested in facilities for milk production. In its Canterbury facility, Fonterra installed a heavy-duty drier that can produce 30 tons of milk in an hour.

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