The Vegetarian Butcher was founded in 2010 by Jaap Korteweg, and is located in Utrecht, Netherlands. Jaap Korteweg has the following to say regarding why he founded The Vegetarian Butcher in 2010 "I was a ninth generation farmer and a big meat lover.I was hooked on the taste of meat. I tried to be a vegetarian for ethical reasons but it was very difficult so I started The Vegetarian Butcher for my own needs. Plant-based meat products with a taste, texture, and nutritional value which is almost indistinguishable from the real thing."
The Vegetarian Butcher makes plant-based meat and fish alternatives. Since its founding in 2010, the founder of the company and the company itself has won many awards, these include: EY Entrepreneur Of The Year in 2015 and 2016, PETA's "Most animal friendly company of the year" award, Triodos Hart prize, Smaak van Nederland award, The Veggie Bite Award, and won bronze in the De Telegraaf "golden meatball" competition.
In 2015, The Vegetarian Butcher worked with Wageningen University to create the world's first commercially available 100% plant-based steak alternative.
In 2015, the Vegetarian butcher raised $2,500,000 through a crowdfunding campaign. They raised the money to build a new production facility.
Unilever announced on December 19, 2018 that is was acquiring The Vegetarian Butcher. The acquisition fits with Unilever's strategy to expand its portfolio into plant-based foods that are healthier and have a lower environmental impact. With this acquisition, Unilever is responding to the growing trend among consumers to increasingly opt for vegetarian and vegan meals.
Unilever and The Vegetarian Butcher started working together in 2016 when they jointly launched the 'Vegetarian Meatballs in Satay Sauce' and 'Vegetarian Meatballs in Tomato Sauce', which were marketed under the Unox brand.
Currently, Unilever is selling nearly 700 products with V-label (a universal vegetarian symbol) in Europe. In the Netherlands, these include products from Unox, Knorr, Hellmann's, Conimex and Ben & Jerry's brands.
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- Plant-based meatPlant-based meat products are made to mimic properties found within natural meats and are considered to be meat substitutes. They are made using plant and other non-animal products to look, taste, and feel like meat products. Examples include: seitan, falafel, tempeh, Tofurky, Beyond Meat burgers, and Mock duck.