Willicroft Original Better

Willicroft says Original Better is like butter but better

Dutch vegan cheese maker Willicroft is aiming to raise €350k (£301k) from the crowd as it prepares to launch what it claims will be “the most sustainable and resource-friendly plant-based butter on the market”.

The Amsterdam-based business will supply wholesalers, retailers, caterers and a number of Michelin-star restaurants in Europe with Willicroft Original Better from January, with a launch into UK foodservice also planned at the same time. It is also working with bakeries.

The plant-based product is made through a fermentation process to replicate the butyric acid flavour profile of dairy butter, using sunflower lectin, coconut oil, soybeans, shea butter, carrot juice, rapeseed oil and salt.

Willicroft said it had achieved the same melting temperature as dairy butter, meaning the product can be used in cooking and baking, as well as for spreading.

It added the plant-based alternative was also seven times lower in carbon emissions than dairy butter and had up to 15g less saturated fat.

The business claimed rival plant-based products already in the market – such as Vioblock and Naturli – were more like margarine than a butter.

Willicroft co-founder Brad Vanstone said: “Margarine in our eyes is a simplistic tasting spread. We wanted to bring to the European and UK market a product that tastes and functions like butter.

“The Willicroft Original Better is just that – like butter in taste and functionality but better in emissions and health. The Original Better melts at the same temperature as dairy butter whilst we’ve also replicated the key flavour component of dairy butter – butyric acid – through fermentation.”

Willicroft is raising the funds on European crowdfunding platform Seedblink and will use the money to support Original Better’s launch.

Vanstone took inspiration for launching a plant-based cheese business in 2018 from his grandparents who moved to Willicroft Farm in Devon in 1957.