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Rising butter prices could pose threat to TikTok's butter board trend

The butter board craze is spreading across the internet, but rising butter costs could soon put an end to the trend.

In August, the average price of a stick of butter (453.6 gm) cost nearly $4.70, up from $3.63 a year ago. It's the highest price since the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) began documenting average price data for butter in 2018. In the past year alone, the price of fats and oils increased 29.3%, with margarine up 38.3% and butter up by 24.6%.

Still, consumers are eating up the viral trend, which features a serving board of softened, often flavored butter creations and toppings alongside toasted breads. It was made popular by Brooklyn-based recipe developer and food stylist Justine Doiron, who credits the butter board creation to Joshua McFadden. Since mid September, the hashtag #ButterBoard has been viewed more than 116.4 million times, while the hashtag #Butter has been searched more than 9.4 billion times on TikTok.

Justine Doiron,@justine_snacks on TikTok, shares a butter board based off of Joshua McFadden's creation.
Justine Doiron,@justine_snacks on TikTok, shares a butter board based off of Joshua McFadden's creation.

Butter boards aren't the first foodie trend to takeover TikTok. In 2020, whipped coffee was the rage, followed by "TikTok pasta" — baked feta, olive oil, spices and tomatoes — which was rumored to cause a shortage of Feta.

Butter board lovers should prepare to pay up, especially as the holidays and baking season approaches.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), butter production was down 2.2 percent year-to-date as of July 2022. In August, there were seasonally low stocks of butter, down 22%.

“This is partially because the year started with slightly ‘heavy’ stocks. This is also because there are competing uses for cream (e.g. sour cream, cream cheese) which milk plants may find more economical to sell rather than make butter than pay to store for a later sale," the USDA noted in an email to Yahoo Finance, adding that global milk supplies have been constrained for nearly a year now.

"Supply chain disruptions, input costs increasing, and ongoing world events continue to contribute to ongoing market uncertainty and increased butter prices," according to the agency.

Jayson L. Lusk, professor and head of the Agricultural Economics Department at Purdue University, concurred. "Higher feed costs and drought in some dairy producing [areas are] reasons hurting supplies. There has also been strong demand for cheese, which has diverted milk away from butter."

Brooke DiPalma is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma or email her at bdipalma@yahoofinance.com.

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