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Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answer to frequently asked questions about The Vegetarian Butcher and the range of plant-based meat products.


How long has The Vegetarian Butcher been in existence?

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 become an iconic player in the plant-based sector.

In 2018, Unilever acquired The Vegetarian Butcher. Although both 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.

What are The Vegetarian Butcher products made of?

The Vegetarian Butcher products are made using soy. They mostly come 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.

Why should vegetarian products look like meat?

Our ideal is to let meat lovers experience that they don't have to miss out on anything if they leave meat out of their diet for one or multiple days a week. That is why we capture the flavour and structure of animal meat by offering an entirely new generation of plant-based meat and fish, made from soy, lupine and vegetables.

Why aren’t all your products 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 as many products vegan friendly as possible.

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.

Are The Vegetarian Butcher products gluten free?

At the moment our products are not certified gluten free. Wheat is used in many of our products. For products such as our NoChicken Chunks the main ingredients (soy) do not contain gluten, but gluten may be present at the processing location, which means that these products are not certified gluten free. 

We are constantly working on the development of both existing and new products. We hope to be able to supply certified gluten-free products in the future.

Are The Vegetarian Butcher products healthy?

We only use the very best ingredients, but do not make a specific health claim for our products. Most of them are high in protein, and it is generally believed that vegetable fats are healthier than animal fats, but we mainly focus on taste to offer a delicious alternative to meat that also provide good nutritional value.

The Vegetarian Butcher products are based on five well-known ingredients i.e. plant-based proteins, plant-based oils, carbohydrates, minerals and spices. We use a simple process known from cooking like heating, grinding, cooking and mixing to create plant-based products with meat-like texture and taste. This level of processing makes food safer and improves nutritional quality.

Is it okay to completely switch to The Vegetarian Butcher instead of meat?

It is important to have a balance plant-based diet comprising of all essential food groups and nutrients, and The Vegetarian Butcher products fit perfectly into a balance plant-based diet together with a healthy lifestyle.

How long can the frozen The Vegetarian Butcher products be kept for?

Refer to pack for expiry date. Store frozen product at -18C or below. 

Frozen products can also be stored in the refrigerator after purchase. Our frozen food can be kept for several days in the refrigerator. After preparation, we recommend that you store the product in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Can I freeze a defrosted The Vegetarian Butcher product again?

After defrosting, we recommend that you use the product within 3 days.

Why do you use palm oil?

The environment and sustainability are very important aspects of our business operations. The palm oil and soy that we use comes from certified sources for which no primeval forests are harvested.

We see using palm oil with the RSPO certification as the best option at the moment. The use of other vegetable oils is not possible in all cases, or is less sustainable than palm oil. We are constantly working on making our products more sustainable and are always open to alternatives that can further reduce our ecological footprint. However, we also need to ensure that we can continue to compete with (the taste and texture of) animal meat, to have the biggest impact.

What kind of eggs do you use in your products?

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.