Butter board campaign becomes viral sensation

Sweet butter board
Sweet butter board is made with soft butter, honey, cinnamon, dates, and crackers.

Better with butter

If you’ve spent time on social media, more than likely you’ve seen a butter board pop up on your feed. 

It’s a trend that has gained popularity recently. Soft butter is spread on a plate or board, with a variety of ingredients sprinkled on top and served with bread or crackers. The idea started with Joshua McFadden, who included the recipe of a butter board in his cookbook, “Six Seasons,” published in 2017.    

A few years later, social media influencer, Justine Doiron, created a short video on TikTok. It became a viral sensation. 

New marketing.

The idea came from the national dairy checkoff program, Dairy Management Inc.

“We are meeting Gen Z where they are,” said Serena Shaffner, senior vice president of communications at DMI, in a recent online discussion. 

It’s an example of a growing trend in advertising and marketing: partnering with social media influencers for broad reach, without the expense of traditional avenues.

“We didn’t know it would become so successful,” Shaffner said. “This campaign cost absolutely nothing.”  

DMI has also worked with YouTuber, “Mr. Beast,” to create a virtual farm in Minecraft, a game-based platform, to teach gamers about sustainable dairy farming. Mr. Beast then created a video to promote the campaign and asked his audience how they like to drink their milk. The response was overwhelmingly positive. 


According to Shaffner, social media influencers go above and beyond, and DMI will continue to work with them. 

“Right now, the TikTok video has over 320 million views and the hashtag #butterboard is now a trend. The concept was to put butter on the lips of people across the country,” she said. Scott Wallin, vice president of industry media relations and issues management at DMI, said there are less than 30,000 dairy farmers in the U.S.

 “These partnerships are vital,” he said. 

The TikTok video, which featured steps to create a butter board, not only generated millions of views but gained coverage from some of the country’s largest news and entertainment outlets, including Good Morning America, New York Times, CNN and Bon Appetit.

The video has gotten its share of negative attention, too. Some not-so-serious eye rolling. And some words of warning. Precautions are needed with this trend, said Darin Detwiler, author of “Food Safety: Past, Present and Predictions.” Wooden boards can have micro cracks and knife gouges that could harbor pathogens. He advises using a non-porous board that is sanitized and using serving utensils. 

Try it.             

If you would like to try your hand at it, start with high quality, room temperature, unsalted butter. Take a non-porous board and slather the butter on it.

Sprinkle ingredients on top like: nuts, fresh fruits, dried fruits, fresh veggies, dried veggies, spices, cheese, honey or edible flowers.

It’s all about fun combinations. Add some crackers for crunch and bread for dipping.

Here’s a simple recipe:

Justine Doiron's viral butter board
Justine Doiron’s butter board which created the #butterboard viral trend.
  • 1-2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • Flaky kosher salt
  • Honey for drizzling
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  1. Spread your butter on a serving platter. 
  2. Sprinkle sea salt on the butter.
  3. Decorate the butter with the cranberries, walnuts and blue cheese.
  4. Zest a lemon on the butter and drizzle all over with honey.
  5. Serve with slices of good bread and crackers.

You can also try it with these spreadable ingredients instead: cream cheese, goat cheese, Nutella, hummus, whipped ricotta or cottage cheese, babaganoush (roasted eggplant), avocado, or almond butter.  

Is this an improvement over traditional charcuterie boards? You decide and let us know.   Dig in. 


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