We’ve had a clear goal and bold approach since we launched The Vegetarian Butcher in 2010: paying a true tribute to meat. The Vegetarian Butcher’s aim is to bring two opposing worlds together and create a new kind of meat. The kind that convinces even the biggest carnivores – like Jaap, founder of The Vegetarian Butcher – and redefines the stereotype of vegetarian food.
Because tempeh, tofu, and vegetables can be delicious, but don’t appeal to every meat lover, and don’t always make it easy to make that switch. A butcher with a full butcher’s range that makes your mouth water, on the other hand… might just do the job.
Who says a butcher can only make meat from animals? Our vegetarian products are comparable to animal meat in terms of taste and texture, for those who love the good things about meat and don’t want to miss out. Because meat can bring a lot. Like more variety to your dishes, valuable traditions, and true butcher’s craftsmanship.
We want to keep those things too, so we are only challenging the way it’s produced. By making plant-based proteins directly from legumes and beans instead of the animal, the process behind our products is more efficient and sustainable, while being at least as tasty as the animal variant.
Our products have been heralded by industry figures, including a jury of butchers, culinary journalists and Michelin-star chefs. Meat without the animal, specifically made for meat lovers, by the meat lovers behind The Vegetarian Butcher. You could say it’s the kind of meat that comes without sacrifice. And indeed, you’re right. The Vegetarian Butcher says: Sacrifice Nothing.
On World Animal Day 2010, a 9th generation farmer officially became a butcher. Jaap Korteweg, founder of The Vegetarian Butcher, opened his first butcher shop in The Hague, on the western coast of the Netherlands. Together with his team, Jaap created a full butcher’s range – especially for meat lovers. A step that led to the founding of The Vegetarian Butcher, which has grown to becomean iconic player in the plant-based sector.
Although Unilever and The Vegetarian Butcher had been working together on specific projects since 2016, the acquisition was a turning point for both businesses. For Unilever, it marked a milestone in its commitment to grow its plant-based portfolio, while for founder Jaap, it marked the next step in achieving his ambition to become the biggest butcher in the world. “Unilever’s international network across 190 countries provides every opportunity to accomplish this,” he said at the time.
Today, Jaap’s plant-based meat is sold at thousands of retail outlets across the world.
It’s a known fact that switching to a plant-based lifestyle can bring many benefits. When doing so, there is a great variety of products to choose from. Tempeh or tofu for instance, or vegetable-based burgers; all quite tasty and even delicious to some. So, why is that not enough?
When Jaap, founder of The Vegetarian Butcher, decided to become a vegetarian, he noticed how much he missed the taste of meat. With the existing products, he felt that he was still missing something to satisfy his cravings, without having to eat animals. That sparked his ambition to create new meat that offered the same satisfying experience.
The number one goal was to allow people to continue to enjoy their favourite meat dishes without giving up taste or texture. So that every meat lover could easily make a switch and show that this way you don’t have to miss out on anything when you leave the animal out.
We captured the delicious taste and structure of animal meat and created ‘new meat’, that - according to top chefs and culinary journalists - cannot be told apart from the animal version. By doing so, we can make the switch to more plant-based food easy and very tasty.
More than half of our range is completely plant-based. You can recognize these products by our vegan ambigram (the green logo on the front of the packaging). You can easily find an overview of all our vegan products on our product page. By selecting the "vegan" filter you will be able to see all our vegan products.
At the moment, more than half of our range is vegan. We want to be there for meat lovers, flexitarians and vegetarians, but we also want to offer great products that fit with a vegan lifestyle. As it is our mission to free animals from the food chain, we prefer to make all products vegan.
Right at the moment, free-range egg white or milk powder provides a structure that is still necessary for some of our products. Because a great taste experience is our number one priority, we think this is the best way to ensure meat lovers don't have to miss out on anything when opting for our products. The more meat lovers that make the switch, the greater the impact we will have.
Our range continues to expand and we look forward to building our portfolio with even more delicious plant-based classics.
At the moment, our products are not certified gluten free. For some products, the main ingredients do not contain gluten, but gluten may sometimes be present at the manufacturing site. We always advise you to consult the product packaging for specific product information.
The chilled products can be consumed up to the best before date indicated on the packaging unless the products are frozen before this date. After opening, the products can be kept refrigerated for another two days.
The products from our frozen range can be re-frozen immediately after purchase and stored in the freezer for about three to six months (see best before date). Before cooking, the products must first be defrosted, preferably a few hours in the refrigerator or in the microwave using the defrost setting.
Frozen products can also be stored in the refrigerator after purchase. Our frozen products can be stored for two days in the refrigerator. After preparation, we recommend storing the product in the refrigerator for no more than one day.
We want to provide a delicious alternative to animal meat, which also generally matches the nutritional value. You can easily find the ingredients and values on the packaging and on the product page on our website.
Although the nutritional values of our products differ, many of our products are a source of protein and/or fiber. We have added vitamin B12 and iron to many of our products, but we do not make any specific health claims for our products. Our main focus is on great taste.
Looking ahead to the next decade, we are excited about our upcoming releases with even more innovative products. The Vegetarian Butcher wants to make it as tasty as possible for everyone to become part of the food revolution; without having to change your existing daily routine or to give up anything. ‘Sacrifice nothing’ is The Vegetarian Butcher’s motto. That’s something we have shown in the past decade and something we very much look forward to continuing in the future.
Good question! We're happy to explain. The palm oil that we use comes from certified sources (RSPO) for which no primeval forests are harvested. It is used to ensure best taste and quality, particularly when it comes to the juiciness of our vegetarian meat.
We do everything possible to ensure our products have the smallest possible footprint, but also to make them stand out and compete with meat made from animals. The use of alternative vegetable oils is not always possible or less sustainable than palm oil.Palm oil is one of the most productive vegetable oils per land area.
Meanwhile, we are constantly working on making our products more sustainable and are always open to alternatives that can further reduce our ecological footprint.
The soy that we use as a basis for part of our range comes from Europe, South America outside the Amazon, the Midwest of the US, Canada and parts of Asia. These soybeans are carefully segregated, managed and monitored throughout every phase of production and handling, from field to grain elevator to port.
We strive to produce as many egg-free, vegan products as possible. The eggs we use for some of our products are from free-range hens at a minimum. Meanwhile, our range has continued to grow in recent years and we look forward to building our portfolio with even more delicious plant-based classics.