A bakery in Peterhead has reinvented a much-loved North East delicacy, the buttery, enabled by funding from the Healthier Bakery Fund, an initiative from Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Scotland and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) to help Scottish bakery businesses make their products healthier.

The family-owned business, Hame Bakery has reformulated their original buttery recipe to create a new product which has 73% less saturated fat and 91% less salt than the original, making a huge difference to the product’s nutritional content.

Butteries are traditionally made with flour, yeast, salt, and a large amount of lard/fat. But, as time moves on, this beloved bake has fallen out of favour with young people.

“There’s no question that butteries are very high in fat and salt and we’ve found young people are more focused on their health,” explains Patrick Jackson, owner and baker at Hame Bakery.

“We used to make 50 tins of 12 dozen butteries just for our Saturday trade, but it has now fallen to about 20 tins, so we’ve seen a real shift which we’ve put down to an increased focus on health.”

Patrick says that Hame Bakery isn’t afraid to try new things to meet consumer aspirations, which helped inspire their Healthier Bakery Fund project.

“Our multi-seed bread is extremely popular and it has no added salt or sugar. So, we thought, why not create a buttery like this?”

The funding supported Patrick with the time and space to focus on recipe development – all of which has been done in-house.

“The main aim was to make a healthier buttery by incorporating wholegrain flour and more seeds, but we made real progress in reducing the fat.

“It was a lot of trial and error. I made multiple samples by simply going into major retailers and picking up different products and trialling the lighter fat alternatives.”

After finding a suitable substitute, Patrick has been able to produce some incredible results in the nutritional value of his healthier buttery. In addition to the reduction of salt and fat, dietary fibre has increased by 121%, and calories have been reduced by 24%.

“We’ve been selling our healthier butteries now since January and we make about 10 dozen each week. It’s not the same taste, but we have a lot of repeat customers and if it is helping with people’s diet, then that is great.”

Food Standards Scotland’s Head of Public Health Nutrition, Laura Wilson, says:

“It’s important to enable businesses, like Hame Bakery, to have the time and space to try new things with an aim to improve the nutritional content of their products and, ultimately, the health of their customers.

“Evidence shows that reformulation, for example by reducing portion size, calories, or improving nutritional content by increasing fibre, is one of the most effective ways industry can help improve dietary health in Scotland.”

Joanne Burns, Reformulation for Health Manager, FDF Scotland, said:

“The fantastic work by Patrick and his team at Hame bakery in developing their better buttery highlights the amazing potential that the bakery industry has to make traditional recipes healthier. Many of Scotland’s favourite foods are produced by our high street bakers from butteries and scotch pies to empire biscuits and yum yums. 

“The bakery industry has always been positive and proactive in meeting industry and health trends. FDF Scotland’s Reformulation for Health team is on hand to offer free guidance and support to help get more healthy, traditional Scottish bakery products on shelves in communities across Scotland.”