Bunge introduces plant-based butter alternative Beleaf PlantBetter

Butter alternative crafted to satisfy growing demand for superior-tasting, environmentally responsible replacements.

November 20, 2023

2 Min Read

As demand for dairy alternatives surges, Bunge introduced this week Beleaf PlantBetter which it says is the answer to the complexities faced by food manufacturers and bakers seeking plant-based alternatives that match the sensory qualities and versatile functionality of traditional dairy butter and can easily be integrated in their current production process. Achieving the precise aeration, volume and taste required for products such as croissants, cakes, etc., has proven challenging for most butter substitutes. These challenges have been further amplified by the escalating volatility in butter pricing, driving the need for innovative solutions.  

"Belea PlantBetter is a game-changing innovation developed by Bunge that brings together the sustainability attributes of plant-based with the uncompromising sensory and performance of dairy butter—all while delivering a lower cost-in-use compared to butter," said Aaron Buettner, president of food solutions at Bunge.

Sensory excellence and functionality

Beleaf PlantBetter captures the distinctive aroma, taste and texture of traditional butter and is a blend of primarily coconut, cocoa butter, rapeseed and lecithins. It has the same melting characteristics as dairy fat and is initially designed for bakery applications, with future plans to extend to other dairy and confectionery applications. The solution offers food manufacturers and bakers the following advantages:

  1. Sensory excellence: A series of blind sensory panel studies conducted by Bunge across three countries demonstrate that Beleaf PlantBetter is on par with premium national butter brands. 

  2. Cost savings and reduced input price volatility: Manufacturers can reduce costs while gaining stability in the face of volatile dairy butter prices.

  3. Easy processing: Beleaf PlantBetter offers the convenience of the same processing method as dairy butter, allowing for seamless integration into the production process.

Carbon-reduced and label-friendly

As a “conscientious choice” for both manufacturers and consumers, Beleaf PlantBetter offers an environmentally responsible alternative to dairy butter as it reduces carbon emissions by 50% compared to standard dairy butter. This achievement has been independently verified through a third-party study conducted by the Terra institute.
In addition, Beleaf PlantBetter is composed of easily recognizable ingredients from all natural sources. It aligns with the growing consumer desire for transparency in food products, delivering an ingredient list that consumers can understand and feel good about.

Bunge's commitment to plant-based innovation

Bunge's dedication to consumer adoption and the growth of the Beleaf product portfolio is further exemplified by the launch of Eleplant, Bunge's retail version of Beleaf PlantBetter, earlier this year in Europe. This offering reinforces Bunge's confidence in the potential of Beleaf PlantBetter in setting a new standard in the plant-based foods landscape.

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