The J.H. Filbert company, based in Baltimore, Maryland, developed the product in 1979 as a low cost alternative to butter for the food service industry. The retail branding has its origin with a comment by the husband of a company secretary when sampling the product, and it was first marketed to retail consumers in 1981. The company was acquired by Unilever in 1986. Unilever expanded sales of the product, previously only available primarily in the Washington/Baltimore area, throughout the United States in 1988, and later to the United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico in 1991. The product was put on the market in Germany in 2011 and in Chile in 2012.
In addition to a regular and 'light' spread, Unilever also uses the brand name to market a liquid butter substitute contained in a spray-bottle. This product is an emulsion of vegetable oil in water formulated with a 'hint' of butter flavor (derived from buttermilk) and is marketed as having zero calories and zero fat content.
This section is outdated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.(April 2014)
It was reported in July 2005 (per research from the market research company Information Resources) that the product at that time led in product sales for its category of margarines, butter blends and spreads at $244.7 million USD, summarized from 52 weeks up to July 10, 2005.