Dutch Startup Willicroft Introduces Fermented Plant-Based Butter
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Willicroft debuts a new vegan butter made from fermented beans.
Dutch startup Willicroft, known for its plant-based cheese alternatives, is expanding its product range with the introduction of its first non-cheese offering: a fermented butter. The innovative product, named “The Original Better,” will hit the market in both retail stores and food service in September.
Willicroft says it has made a “true” butter that mimics the taste, spreadability, cooking properties, and baking characteristics of conventional dairy butter — unlike margarine, which is made from fats, oils, and artificial ingredients.
The Original Better Butter
Willicroft says the butter was two years in development, and investments totaling €350K in order to produce the butter through a meticulous fermentation process, allowing the company to recreate the rich flavors of high-end dairy butter without the need for artificial flavorings. The company received grant support from Provincie Noord Holland.
Staying true to its commitment to natural ingredients, Willicroft’s plant-based butter is crafted using a base ingredient of beans, along with 100 percent natural components. The product features European soybeans sourced from Austria.
Compared with other plant-based kinds of butter, Willicroft’s Original Better contains lower levels of saturated fats while maintaining the desired taste and consistency, the company says.
Beans make for better business
Last year, Willicroft became the first plant-based cheese brand in Europe to obtain B-Corp certification.
In a statement on social media, founder Brad Vanstone emphasized the importance of moving away from solely profit-driven endeavors. “The days of focusing solely on profit-making are over,” he wrote. “Simply put, business as usual will lead to the widespread destruction of a huge number of the planet’s species, potentially including our own. We certainly do not profess to be perfect, but we are on the right track.”
The company raised more than €2 million in Seed funding last year, led by PINC and Rockstart with Döhler and Feast Ventures participating. Its product placement has expanded rapidly across Europe.
“Willicroft is taking plant-based dairy alternatives to the next level. Alongside making delicious products (I’ve tasted several, I recommend them!), they are helping farmers to transition to sustainable production by enabling a local supply chain without the need for monocropping or highly processed ingredients,” Mark Durno, managing partner at Rockstart., said in a statement last year following the close of the Seed round. “They have spent the last years understanding their consumers and their footprint, and the next phase will be to put those learnings to scale.”
According to Vanstone, the use of beans as a base makes Willicroft’s cheese produce five times less CO2 than the dairy alternatives it’s replacing.