In a UK supermarket first, Waitrose is adding vegan cheese fondue to the shelves.
The new 100 percent dairy-free fondue, called This Is Not Cheese Fondue, is by Amsterdam-based vegan brand Willicroft. It’s made with nuts, tofu, and it’s double fermented.
“We are really excited to be the first UK supermarket to launch a vegan fondue product,” said Jo Haywood, Waitrose’s Speciality Cheese Buyer, in a statement. “This Is Not Cheese Fondue is innovative and delicious. We think our customers will be very excited to try it, even if they aren’t vegan.”
The supermarket chain is also launching Willicroft’s This Is Not Cream Cheese and This Is Not Grated Italian Style Cheese.
Willicroft Began as a ‘Pet Project’
Willicroft has a unique story. Now based in Amsterdam, the brand was founded by UK-born and bred Brad Vanstone. He grew up on a dairy farm in Devon, but decided to go plant-based after realizing the environmental impact of the industry.
On the Willicraft website, he wrote: “From personal experience, I’m aware that the bulk of farmers are some of the most charitable, intelligent, and hardworking people.”
He added: “But even the happiest cows still have a negative impact on the environment.”
After going plant-based in 2017, he was was happy with the quality of plant-based meat and milk products available. However, he found that “nothing came close to replacing cheese.”
So, he made his own. He has now opened the first plant-based cheese store in the Netherlands. And several retailers across the country, as well as Belgium and the UK, stock Willicroft’ss products.
Vanstone wrote: “What began as a pet project at home has become our reason for existence.”
The partnership with Waitrose is particularly special. Thirty years ago, Vanstone’s grandfather’s dairy farm used to sell meat and dairy products to the chain.
He said in a statement: “It’s super humbling that our fondue, cream cheese, and grated Italian style cheese are now available across the UK.”
“We’ve always believed that by focusing on the taste and our environmental footprint in equal measure, we would be creating something special and are stoked Waitrose supports us on that mission.”
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