If you, like many Tennesseans, love to cook and bake during the holidays, you may run into some problems this season if you shop at big box stores. The USDA reported that the US has 22% less butter stored up than this time last year.

On top of that, the Bureau of Labor reported that inflation has hit butter hard. On average, butter is 24% more expensive than last year. This is likely due to labor shortages and increased production costs.

Tennessee Dairy Farmers

While these shortages are expected to hit big box stores, it seems that local farmers and sellers aren’t feeling the strain. Many farmers report that they have an excess of cream, but not enough employees to produce it into butter. This has kept local butter prices competitive.

Wendy Barrett, owner of a local Nashville butter seller called Wise Butter, had a bit to say on the matter in an interview with Channel 5 News: “A few more dairy farmers that are producing cream and it is caused us to have right now in Tennessee, we kind of have an excess of cream, and we don’t have the employees and the bandwidth to produce that into butter.”

She went on to say that it doesn’t make sense why big companies are raising prices, since she hasn’t changed her prices since she opened in 2016.

How to Get Your Butter

If you need a lot of butter this season for your cookies, pies, or mashed potatoes, try to buy early. Don’t panic buy and clean out the stores, but plan ahead.

And if you’re going to be spending a bit more on butter anyway, do what you can to buy local. You’ll get a far better product and be supporting your local Tennessee farmers and communities.


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