How Land O'Lakes is keeping butter on the shelves for your holiday baking

We continue to see pandemic-led supply chain disruptions dominate headlines -- here's how our farmer-owned co-op handles the pressure

We all remember it. The apocalyptic scene that played out in grocery stores during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. People across the globe began panic-buying things like canned food, bottled water, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer -- leaving store shelves completely empty for weeks and even months.
Now, nearly two years later, we continue to see pandemic-led supply chain disruptions dominate headlines.
Experts warn supply chain issues could impact your upcoming holiday celebrations. News outlets like The Wall Street Journal and Fortune warn holiday dinner essentials will be harder to find, including turkeys, cranberry sauce, boxes of stuffing, and refrigerated pies.
So, what about butter? Last year, Americans cooked and baked their way through lockdowns, and when yeast was nowhere to be found, recipes like our Irish Soda Bread, which uses baking soda and buttermilk as the leavening agent, saw an increase of more than 10,000 percent.
This holiday season, Dairy Foods Magazine projects Americans will buy 161 million pounds of butter from the second week of November through Christmas Day. But, Heather Anfang, Senior Vice President of U.S. Dairy Foods at Land O’Lakes, is here to tell us not to worry.
“There will be Land O Lakes® Butter on the shelves for all your holiday cooking and baking,” says Anfang. “Our team is taking lessons learned from 2020 to make sure we’re prepared for our busiest time of year.”
Heather points to our co-op model for one reason we aren’t worried about product shortages, particularly for milk to make our butter.
“Cows never stop milking, even during a pandemic,” she says. “Because we are a co-op, our biggest suppliers, our farmer-owners who supply milk to make butter, also happen to be our most secure.”
Dustin Braun is Vice President of Logistics and Planning at Land O’Lakes Inc. and is responsible for the team that brings the raw material to plants and then products to store shelves.
“The Land O’Lakes butter supply chain, like the Dairy industry, is very experienced in managing through disruption,” he says. “The key has always been partnership and collaboration, from the farm to retail shelf. This year, we have seen larger and more frequent disruption. It was critical for us to double down on our partnerships with members, milk haulers, refrigerated transportation carriers, warehousing providers and customers to ensure we weathered the disruption."
Overall, Land O’Lakes’ co-op model and dedicated team members will be the lynchpin for success amid any further supply chain disruptions this holiday season.
“What I want consumers to know is that our people are working so hard each and every day to get our wonderful, delicious butter to the grocery store shelves,” says Anfang. “The teams in our manufacturing facilities continue to show up every day to make the product, and our farmer-owners continue to produce milk around the clock. People should feel free to indulge this holiday season and feel good about a secure supply and products that are produced with a whole lot of heart.”