Lewis Road Creamery Chocolate Butter is a chocolate spread that combines Lewis Road’s butter with Whittaker’s 72% Dark Ghana Chocolate.
The product is a new collaboration between the two companies that combined to create the Lewis Road chocolate milk in 2014.
Lewis Road founder Peter Cullinane told DairyReporter that the company started making butter four years ago.
The start of a business
As a consumer, Cullinane said he has always been “a big butter fan”.
“Over the years, I had found that the taste and quality of New Zealand butter was quite variable. And the reason for that is the focus of NZ dairy is mainly on producing powder. I made the giant switch to Lurpak.”
He said that the ‘lightbulb moment’ was when he was in the local supermarket, putting Lurpak in the trolley, and he thought, “What's wrong with this picture? Here I am in a country that's renowned for its dairy, putting a Danish butter in my shopping trolley!”
“I went home and made my first batch of butter,” Cullaine said.
“It took us about a year, almost to the day, for us to introduced lightly salted and salted butters, and we went from there.”
Moving to flavored milk
He said that the big boost to the business was combining with Whittaker’s to launch the company’s first flavored milk – chocolate milk.
“We had no sense of how big that would be. People were just lining up, there were literally queues in the supermarkets,” he said.
A new butter
The idea for a chocolate butter emerged over an afternoon tea of French pastries at the Lewis Road kitchen table.
“Right away we were off to the patisserie for more croissants and it was out with the blender to mix up the very first batch of chocolate and butter. As soon as we tasted it we knew we were onto something special.”
Cullinane said that his view of the market is that best thing to do is to create a product and put it to market and see what happens.
“We don't know what will happen but we think it could be an absolute winner for us,” he said.
“One of the things that excites us about it is that if it does as well as we expect it to do in the local market, then it's a great product for export as well.”
He said that the UK and Australia are both potential markets for the product.
Many potential uses
Cullaine said that the product is limited only by the imagination.
“But I think what it will be used for primarily is as a spread on breads and pastries, things like pancakes. The ultimate way to try this spread, in my view anyway, is on a hot croissant.”
The new chocolate butter could easily be used as an ingredient for cooking, Cullaine said.
Lewis Road Creamery Chocolate Butter is available from October 20, from specialty food stores and most major supermarkets throughout New Zealand with a RRP of NZ$8.99 ($6.44).