BTS’s “Butter” and Actual Butter

Let’s begin with: Correlation is not causation. (Hearken to your imploring math lecturers, youngsters; the ramifications of shoddy knowledge science aren’t any joke.) And but, when the preferred band on the planet releases a track primly named after a pantry staple, one has to marvel — by which I imply, I’ll have been the one one that puzzled — whether or not it packed sufficient of a Pavlovian punch to truly affect buying patterns of mentioned pantry staple.

On Could twenty first, BTS launched “Butter” as a single. The earworm made rapid conquest of music charts; it got here in at Quantity Two on the Rolling Stone 100 Songs Chart with the second-highest debut of 2021 (beat out solely by Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License”) and with the very best debut of the yr by track gross sales. And within the week after Could twenty first, U.S. butter-sales quantity jumped 30 % larger than in the identical week in 2019, Alan Bjerga, communications lead for the American Butter Institute and the Nationwide Milk Producers Federation, confirms to Rolling Stone, citing numbers from the butter and butter blends syndicated database of analysis agency IRI. The group used the yr 2019 as a baseline comparability for 2021’s butter gross sales as a result of 2020, with client tendencies affected by Covid-19, was such an outlier: The pandemic’s speedy roll throughout the spring and summer season spurred heavy bouts of panic-buying and stock-piling of pantry gadgets, and butter — a staple of Western kitchens that papers of report have declared a love language in and of itself — was additionally a vital ingredient within the lockdown baking craze.

May butter’s uptick on the finish of Could 2021 be a direct bump from the ferocious foothold of “Butter” on American audiences, subliminally triggering salivary glands and sending folks flying straight from automobiles — the place the Okay-pop tune had been making ceaseless circuit on pop radio — and into Kroger and Safeway dairy aisles? Caveats right here: Bjerga notes that, per his organizations’ tabulations, butter is usually purchased with some regularity by some 74 % of American households yearly. “Pre-pandemic, U.S. per-capita butter consumption was already going up steadily, and in 2019 was at its highest for the reason that Sixties,” Bjerga says. “So, butter’s been heating up for awhile.”

So whereas we will observe launch dates in opposition to retail gross sales, there isn’t any definitive approach to really attribute butter gross sales to “Butter.” However research have discovered that grocery retailer selections are fairly malleable, and spending ranges are sometimes influenced by the music piped into shoppers’ ears; the corporate Soundtrack Your Model, which dubs itself the “Spotify of background music” and conducts analysis for multinational eating places, has even tied explicit genres and BPMs to consumers’ desire for certain foods over others, so take that as you’ll.

As of July 2nd, “Butter” has been lodged at Quantity Two on the RS 100 for seven consecutive weeks. So far, the track has seen nearly 86 million on-demand audio streams. BTS’s earlier main hit was “Dynamite,” in August 2020. We haven’t but inquired wherever for comparable evaluation on that topic.


IRI for Rolling Stone


IRI for Rolling Stone

Andrew Firriolo contributed reporting.



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