Much like lard and other animal fats, butter spent most of the 20th century being shunned in favor of plant-based alternatives, with margarine being its chief substitute. Recent trends have seen a reverse, however, which has culminated in the capitulation of one of butter's biggest critics, Unilever. In September, the company that's been pushing margarine for most of its existence finally gave in and started adding butter to its Rama spread in Germany — that country's most popular brand — signalling the resurgent popularity of bread's original best friend.
With dietary advice changing and fears about saturated fat's purported link to heart disease waning, butter spreads are making a comeback at the expense of their more highly processed plant oil substitutes. As noted US nutritionist Marion Nestle tells Bloomberg, “margarine has become a marker for cheap, artificial, unhealthy food.”