From ghee to lard: What’s happening in the US retail market for oils and fats?

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

From ghee to lard: What’s happening in the US retail market for oils and fats?
Which cooking oils are growing most strongly and why? Is ghee trending and has coconut oil lost some of its luster? Is butter outperforming vegetable-oil-based spreads?

Get a breakdown of what’s happening in the retail oils, butters and spreads categories from SPINS at FoodNavigator-USA’s FREE-to-attend 60-minute webinar on June 20, where you can also quiz experts on everything from the debate over saturated fat, to which fats consumers think are healthiest – and find out whether they are on the same page as nutrition experts.

AGENDA​​: In our debate​​​, moderated by FoodNavigator-USA editor Elaine Watson, we’ll discuss:

  1. Market data​​ Which oils and fats are growing and which are declining at the retail level? And what does this tell us?
  2. Fats 101 ​​What’s the difference between trans fats, saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats from a health perspective, and are consumers, food marketers, and health professionals all on the same page on this?  
  3. Saturated fat​​: Is the science ‘evolving’ and if not, why do some people think it is?​​ How should we view the saturated fat in say, coconut oil, vs palm oil, vs butter, vs meat?  
  4. Fat is back, but where does it fit within the overall diet?​​  How much fat should we eat (and does it matter as long as it is ‘good’ fat? And here) and how can consumers navigate the butter and spreads and the cooking oil categories? What about fats within packaged foods – is the pressure off to reduce fat now the focus is on added sugar? Is that a good thing?
  5. Consumers and fats​​  How are consumers thinking about fats?  What’s the best way to incorporate healthy fats into the diet? Is whole milk a better choice than low fat? Is the ‘keto’ diet supported by sound science or is eating too much fat – even the ‘good’ kind - potentially a bad thing?
  6. Marketing and formulating foods with healthy fats ​​What's the takeaway for manufacturers?

The first 40-45 minutes will be devoted to the panel discussion, and we’ll leave the remaining 15-20 minutes for audience questions to our expert panel:


Melissa Abbott​, VP retainer services, Hartman Group  

Melissa has tracked trends in the health, wellness, food and retail industries for over 15 years and has developed a deep understanding of retail and cultural trends across a wide array of products. She has appeared on The Food Network and numerous national media annually. She has an MS in Food Marketing from the National University of Ireland, Cork and a BS in Political Communication from Emerson College.


Tom Sanders​, DSc, professor of nutrition and dietetics, King's College, London   

The main focus of Tom's research is on the mechanisms by which diet influences risk of cardiovascular disease. Much of his research has been involved with differentiating the effects of different types of fatty acids (trans fatty acids, omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, oleic acid, and different chain length saturated fatty acids) as well as the relative proportions of fat and type of carbohydrate on cardiovascular risk factors. More recently, he has been examining the effects of saturated fatty acids of varying chain length and the influence of triglyceride structure on cardiovascular risk, including insulin secretion and sensitivity.

Jenna Bell

Jenna A. Bell​, PhD, RD, senior vice president, director of food & wellness, Pollock Communications  

Jenna is Pollock’s food and nutrition strategist, keenly adept at translating science into messages that resonate with consumers. As a leader in the dietetic community, consumer book author and former professor, registered dietitian, Jenna creatively marries brands with science for health influencers and develops strategic programs that uniquely position brands for success with consumers.

Molly Hjelm cropped

Molly Hjelm, ​VP of Marketing, SPINS    

As VP of Marketing at SPINS, Molly leads a team of nutritionists, analysts, and health and wellness experts responsible for blending SPINS’ proprietary insight with its unique understanding of the natural foods and specialty retailer ecosystem. The content it produces helps retailers and manufacturers both interpret and anticipate consumer health trends, paving the way for innovation and personalization. Years of experience in media consulting for manufacturers and retailers also equip Molly to speak on the consumer path to purchase across channels, digital personalization and the changing media landscape

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Register HERE​​​ for this FREE event, which is sponsored by Qualisoy​​​, a collaboration that promotes the development of new soybean traits including new high-oleic varieties.

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