A spread is a food that is spread, generally with a knife, onto foods such as bread and crackers. Spreads are added to food to enhance the flavor or texture of the food, which may be considered bland without it. Butter and soft cheeses are typical spreads.
Common spreads include dairy spreads (such as cheeses, creams, and butters, although the term "butter" is broadly applied to many spreads), margarines, honey, nut-based spreads (peanut/cashew/hazelnut butter, Nutella), plant-derived spreads (such as jams, jellies, and hummus), yeast spreads (such as Vegemite and Marmite), and meat-based spreads.
Spreads are typically made from ingredients such as nuts, fruits, and seeds that are sourced from different parts of the world. For example, almonds and peanuts, which are common ingredients in spreads, are widely grown in countries such as the United States, Spain, China, and India.
Some of the largest importers include the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Canada. These countries have large and diverse consumer markets that demand a variety of spreads from different regions, which drives the import and export of these products.