skillet with pasta

A Global Leader in Concentrated Dairy Flavor Ingredients


History of Butter Buds®

Over nearly 40 years, Butter Buds Inc. has grown—from one man’s entrepreneurial vision for concentrated flavor technology—into a global leader in concentrated dairy and other flavor ingredients. Our story is one of innovation­­ and the value we provide to our customers, every day.

Butter Buds® Beginnings


Our founder Allen Buhler learned about a University of Wisconsin School of Dairy Science project in the mid-1960s that used enzymes to produce concentrated dairy flavors, and had the vision to recognize the potential of this new technology. After a 15-year quest to perfect the concept, a healthier butter product was born in rich-tasting Butter Buds®. Soon after, Allen went into business with Cumberland Packing Corp., another family-run business and makers of world-famous Sweet’N Low®. Today, the retail version of Butter Buds is available in most supermarkets across the country.

Allen applied the same groundbreaking technology to create a line of ingredient and foodservice products. Further research revealed that Butter Buds had benefits beyond buttery flavor, such as added mouthfeel, richness and masking off-flavor. Food manufacturers began using Butter Buds to achieve excellent nutritional profiles and consumer-pleasing experiences in a rapidly growing range of applications, from bakery products to prepared meats, confectionery to beverages, and almost everything in between.

team of people in suits in a lab

Butter Buds® Beginnings


Our founder Allen Buhler learned about a University of Wisconsin School of Dairy Science project in the mid-1960s that used enzymes to produce concentrated dairy flavors, and had the vision to recognize the potential of this new technology. After a 15-year quest to perfect the concept, a healthier butter product was born in rich-tasting Butter Buds®. Soon after, Allen went into business with Cumberland Packing Corp., another family-run business and makers of world-famous Sweet’N Low®. Today, the retail version of Butter Buds is available in most supermarkets across the country.

Allen applied the same groundbreaking technology to create a line of ingredient and foodservice products. Further research revealed that Butter Buds had benefits beyond buttery flavor, such as added mouthfeel, richness and masking off-flavor. Food manufacturers began using Butter Buds to achieve excellent nutritional profiles and consumer-pleasing experiences in a rapidly growing range of applications, from bakery products to prepared meats, confectionery to beverages, and almost everything in between.

team of people in suits in a warehouse

Butter Buds Inc.


In 2013 and led by Allen’s three sons Bill, Tom and John, Butter Buds transitioned to corporate status as Butter Buds Inc. Under Bill Buhler’s leadership as president, our company tripled in size and expanded our workforce. We grew our applications capabilities, quality assurance and regulatory expertise—all to better meet the growing needs of our customer-partners.

John Buhler became President in 2018, when Bill Buhler transitioned into semi-retirement. In 2019, the next generation of Buhler's, Natalie, Paul and Grace all joined the company. Tom Buhler is Chief Community Affairs Officer, and Butter Buds Inc. continues to be a family-led company that lives our values on a day-to-day basis. Every day, we foster a uniquely collaborative business culture and promote the dignity of our employees; respect our customers, treating them and all others with honesty and integrity; and recognize the vital role our partners, community and the environment play in our long-term success. Read more about our mission, vision and values and our Sustainability Plan.

Butter Buds Today


In partnership with our customers, Butter Buds keeps pushing the boundaries of flavor technology to produce transformational products and customized flavor solutions beyond dairy alone. What do beer, cocoa butter, olive oil and bacon have in common? They inspired some of the inventive products developed by Butter Buds to provide better solutions for our customers. In an increasingly wellness-minded marketplace, our clean label, organic, and dairy replacement flavor products answer our customers’ need to respond to market trends.

products displayed on table

Butter Buds Today


In partnership with our customers, Butter Buds keeps pushing the boundaries of flavor technology to produce transformational products and customized flavor solutions beyond dairy alone. What do beer, cocoa butter, olive oil and bacon have in common? They inspired some of the inventive products developed by Butter Buds to provide better solutions for our customers. In an increasingly wellness-minded marketplace, our clean label, organic, and dairy replacement flavor products answer our customers’ need to respond to market trends.