Kerrygold becomes first Irish food brand to exceed €1bn in annual retail sales

Kerrygold butter
Kerrygold butter
Photo: Clare Keogh
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Kerrygold, has become the first Irish food brand to exceeded €1 billion in annual retail value

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. 

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 and focussed brand strategy. 

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. 

Its distinct, rich flavour has established a committed following worldwide with 7.5 million packets of the iconic gold foil sold each week.

 Kerrygold is the No. 2 butter brand in the US and the No. 1 butter brand in Germany, as well as being the fastest selling branded product on supermarket shelves in Germany.

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Unveiling the news, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said: “The Kerrygold brand is an amazing asset for Irish dairy farmers and its promotion of Ireland’s unique grass-fed credentials has been instrumental in enhancing Ireland’s reputation around the world as a sustainable food producer.

Róisín Hennerty, Managing Director, Ornua Foods, said while Kerrygold holds a unique place in the hearts of the Irish people, the company is especially proud that the brand has captured the hearts and imagination of consumers all over the world.

"The future is bright for Kerrygold – our unique connection to our consumers coupled with our way of farming and our members’ expertise will drive the next generation of success.”

History of Kerrygold

1961 - An Bord Bainne (Irish for The Irish Dairy Board) is established to “promote, facilitate, encourage, assist, co-ordinate and develop the exportation of milk and milk products”

1962 - The Kerrygold brand name is chosen from a total of sixty suggestions (including Buttercup, Tub-o-Gold, Leprechaun, Golden Farm) and the Kerrygold brand is launched, not in Ireland, but in the UK

1964 - Kerrygold starts exporting to many more markets overseas, such as Gibraltar, Malta, Cyprus, Middle East, Gulf States, Canary Islands, the Caribbean and Asia

1973 - Kerrygold is exported to EEC member states including Germany. Today, Kerrygold is the No.1 butter and cheddar brand in Germany

1973 - 11 years after launching in the UK and around the globe, Kerrygold goes on sale in Ireland
1979 -
Kerrygold Regato Classic launches in Greece and is today No. 1 in its category

1980 - A new Kerrygold logo is unveiled

1982 – Kerrygold adverts become as legendary as the butter. ‘Put a bit of butter on the spuds André’ hits television screens in Ireland

1984 - Kerrygold Regato Classic airs its very own TV advert, becoming the first cheese brand to do so in Greece

1989 - Kerrygold becomes a proud title sponsor of the Dublin Horse Show, which goes on to achieve an international audience of 200 million

1991 – Kerrygold milk powder launches in the Congo

1991 - Kerrygold expands the range of Kerrygold cheese and butter products to the US

1994 – Back on the box – one of the much-loved classics ‘Who’s taking the horse to France?’ aired in 1994

1999 - Kerrygold Butter launches in the US and enjoys phenomenal success

2005 - Kerrygold gets its very own German street, renamed Kerrygoldstrasse

2009 - The iconic TV ad, ‘The Sod’ airs in 2009

2010 - Kerrygold launches the new logo that you see today

2013 - Kerrygold becomes the title sponsor of Kerrygold Ballymaloe Lit Fest

2013 - Kerrygold celebrates 40 years in Germany

2014 - Kerrygold receives planning approval for a new home, Kerrygold Park, a butter manufacturing and packing plant in County Cork

2016 - Kerrygold Park opens - the new global home for the manufacturing and packaging of Kerrygold butter products

2017 – The Kerrygold Ad, ‘Memories in the Making’ airs in 2017

2019 – Kerrygold launches global digital campaign ‘A True Taste of Kerrygold’ putting farming families firmly in the spotlight

Online Editors