Kerrygold Irish dairy farmer-owned brand has an annual retail turnover of €1 billion.

Kerrygold Irish dairy farmer-owned brand has an annual retail turnover of €1 billion.Getty

Kerrygold, the Irish dairy farmer-owned brand, has reached €1 billion annual retail sales globally, making it the first Irish food business to do so. 

The brand, which is owned by Irish dairy farmers, has become the first Irish food business to reach this momentous milestone of exceeding an annual retail value of €1 billion. Kerrygold, most famous for its yellow creamy Irish butter, has a committed following worldwide with 7.5 million packets of the iconic gold foil sold each week. Kerrygold butter, which is produced by over 14,000 Irish dairy farmers, is not only popular here in Ireland: the product is the best-loved butter in Germany and is number two in the US market. 

Read more: Irish butter exports reach record levels

Kerrygold is a symbol of national pride providing Irish consumers with a sense of belonging and a link to home in many markets all over the world. The brand is well-known for its advertisements, which went viral long before social media existed. To this day, people of a certain age still ask “Who’s taking the Horse to France?” and remind themselves to “Put a bit of butter on the spuds, André” in relation to Kerrygold's classic advertisements. Below is one of their newest advertisements, which highlights the brand's connection with the Irish countryside.

The news that Kerrygold had hit this milestone of €1 billion in annual retail sales was unveiled by Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed and Ornua Foods Managing Director Róisín Hennerty to the company’s farmer shareholders at the Kerrygold Kitchen, in Ornua.

The Kerrygold brand was created by Sir Anthony O’Reilly, CEO of what was then called An Bord Bainne, in 1962. His vision was to establish Kerrygold as a premium brand, befitting the rich quality of Irish milk. 

Read more: Meet the Makers: Irish Butter Producers

Its phenomenal global success is attributed to farming families’ commitment and dedication to making the best quality milk in the world, coupled with state-of-the-art member production facilities and an ambitious, focused brand strategy. One of Kerrygold’s most recent advertisement campaigns was rolled out globally earlier this year, reaching a potential audience of 36 million butter lovers. The advertisement highlights three of Kerrygold's farming families: The McKenna’s from Monaghan, the Crowley’s from West Cork and Brian Cleary from Waterford. Each demonstrates a true dedication to their craft, demonstrating how farming isn’t just a job, it’s a passion. We especially love ‘The Cream Rises’ video, which shows how generational dairy farming is – watch out for Daithí, who is sure to be a future star farmer! 

Today, Kerrygold is an international household name, loved around the world for its naturally superior, grass-fed dairy products. While Kerrygold butter has grown in popularity over the past five decades, the recipe has not changed since it was first produced in 1962. As Kerrygold is the first Irish food brand to reach this milestone, the path is now clear for other products to follow suit and demonstrate on a global level just how great Irish food really is.

Do you use Kerrygold butter? Let us know your favourite way to use it in your cooking in the comments below.