“ Brand: Vitalite / Type: Other Spreads „
Poor Desmond Dekker; why ever did he allow his 1968 hit "Israelites" to be used to promote a margarine? I don't know how much they paid him but whatever it was it wasn't enough. Without his memorable jingle I doubt this brand would ever have established itself, which it surely has being in our supermarkets since 1983.
I am a butter man by nature - and the buttercups don't lie - but faced with an ever trickier household budgeting task I decided to try some of the substitutes available. The savings were potentially significant with most spreadable butters around £5 per kilo and Vitalite on offer at just £1.10 per kilo (in fact a BOGOF on the 500 gramme tub). It was enough to persuade me.
My homecoming reception was not too warm; I was immediately challenged by my wife to explain why I had bought Vitalite not butter and she then declared she wouldn't eat it and I would "have to" get her some butter. I was of course accused of being mean rather than financially responsible (I really must finish my piece on Marriage for Dooyoo Lounge some day). I, however, resolved to try the Vitalite and give as much as possible to the kids when "somebody" wasn't looking.
The Vitalite tub looks like any other tub of spread these days, a rounded oblong prism suitable for packing and stacking in the fridge. There is the distinctive smiling sunflower in sunglasses and clear marking that this product is dairy free. That really isn't much of a big deal I would say, since until relatively recently all margarines and spreads were dairy free. Certainly the older members of my family remember the butter ration during the Second World War and that they had to eat "marge" because it didn't use any of the then scarce dairy products. The idea of making butter like margarine (spreadable) or putting butter into margarine is quite recent. In fact, I suspect most of the cheaper supermarket own-brand spreads would be dairy-free.
One definite plus for Vitalite is that it doesn't contain hydrogenated oils making it "virtually" trans fat-free", to quote Dairycrest, its makers. Trans fats have been associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease for some time now. So much for butter being the killer!
So Vitalite is a vegetable oil spread with just over a fifth of the oil being sunflower oil. The next main ingredients are water, salt and emulsifier (to keep it all mixed together). Then we have a preservative and, strangely, lactic acid. This is presumably to give it a more butter-like flavour and also act as an antimicrobial preservative. I say strangely because lactic acid is naturally produced by fermentation of dairy products and this is dairy free! I assume it is an artificially made lactic acid then. Lastly, Dairycrest have added B vitamins and the colourings Annatto and Curcumin, both of which would give a yellow colour. The sunflower oil is a natural source of vitamin E, which is a natural antioxidant and by the current orthodoxy good for you.
Well I did try my Vitalite and give it to the kids, who were not overkeen on its taste. It is certainly very easy to spread straight from the fridge, though it has a definite oiliness to it once spread. I found it a touch too salty for me as well. No problem in a marmite sandwich but noticeable with a light cheese. On its own it was better than the very cheap hard margarines but not particularly pleasant. I didn't enjoy it in the way I can enjoy fresh bread and butter on its own. Even so, I would have been prepared to use it in view of the cost savings. We are all in this together (apart from "someone").
Vitalite can be used for baking or frying though I didn't use it for either.
After it had been open for a week or two I went to use the Vitalite and noticed green-blue spots in it. I thought at first that the kids had put a dirty knife with blue cheese on it into the tub, but on closer inspection I could see that mould was growing on the Vitalite itself. So I quickly threw it away and opened the other tub, thinking that this must be a one-off problem. Unfortunately, this was not the case and a week or so later my son showed me that the new tub had also gone mouldy.
I can't recall ever having a spread go mouldy before. Certainly this has never happened with any of the spreadable butters I have used. Both tubs were well within their use-by dates. True, we were not using Vitalite exclusively but then the spreadable butter bought at the same time wasn't being used exclusively either (and it hadn't spoilt). There is no problem with the fridge as all our other food in general keeps well. The problem has to be the Vitalite, either a faulty batch or a poor product. Hazarding a guess I would say that the high water content makes it more susceptible to deteriorating in this way. I won't be buying it again and my wife, as always, was right in the end.
Anyone from their late 20's onwards will remember when you were a child seeing the advert on TV for Vitalite with the sun dancing! I always think of it everytime I buy a tub!
We always go for Vitalite over other butter / margarine brands as it has a unique taste, its not too over powering but then not too bland either, and it tastes gorgeous melted over crumpets!
It's dairy free and has 75% less saturated fat than butter, it's very easy to spread and we tend to make a lot of garlic butter and is light enough to be able to mix with garlic without giving you arm ache! It is suitable for baking, frying and freezing and the plastic tub is strong enough to be reused afterwards for storing other things.
They use to come in the traditional round tub but now they are in a deeper oval shaped tub which I think is better because I sometimes use to struggle to get the lid off the old shape!
It is very reasonable on price as well and you will normally tend to find it is one of the cheaper options in the supermarket. But it is well worth it for the taste which we have never been able to find one the same.
Vitalite is a 56% fat spread made with sunflower oil and unlike most other low fat spreads there is no animal products or milk contained - it is also soya free. Vitalite is dark yellow in colour and spreads very easily from he container, it can be used for spreading, baking, sauces and shallow frying.
It has a nice light flavour and isnt too salty - it isnt trying to be a butter substitute and tastes good just spread on its own on a cracker or hot toast.
I have used vitalite as a cooking oil for stir frying, it doesnt melt quickly so its best to move it around the pan before you add your food otherwise it tends stick to the food.
Vitalite usually sells for about between 78 pence and 99 pence for 500g so its is just as cheap as other well known brands.
Recently they have changed the design of the container from the usual round style (which was quite durable and could be used again) to a more flimsy tub design.
I bought Vitalite for the first time recently in Tesco as it is on special offer at the moment, this was my first time of trying it and was amazed not only that you could actually get 'dairy free' margarine but it was pretty tasty. The Dairy free part is especially important in my family due to the fact that my father is allergic to anything dairy (too bad for him being banned from having ice cream, haha).
The Vitalite spread itself is just like any other form of margarine product, only it seems to be relatively healthy, boasting on the tub that it is suitable for vegans, is a great source of B vitamins, is soya free, has no hydrogenated vegetable oils and contains 75% less saturated fat than butter.
It comes in a strange cylindrical container which may look very fancy and different to the other products on the market, but it is unfortuneatley more difficult to stack and store in the fridge, however good it may look its not very practical. Its capacity is 500g which is the same as an average tub of margarine or butter.
At the moment, you can but this from Tesco individually for 80p per 500 gram carton, but the last time I was in Tesco it was on offer two for £1.30. This compared to other varieties of spread available on the market is one of the cheapest, but is what I would choose as it seems to be one of the better for your health, the other ones that could be a choice over Vitalite are the olive oil spreads which are known to be good for you.
Overall, this is a fine spread which I would be happy to purchase again in the future. Its well priced and tastes as good as any other margarine spread on the market and I will continue to use time and time again. I would without doubt recommend this to anyone and everyone. 4 stars out of 5 from me, missing out on top marks due to the silly shape of the packaging which makes it more difficult to store.
When it comes to butter like spreads in my home we really do devour them at the rate of knots. My Mum is always complaining how many tubs of spreads we get through and for that reason she refuses to buy us butter! However I was more than a little shocked when this came through our door as it's dairy free. On spotting it I kicked off and refused to eat it calling it cheap and nasty but with nothing else in the house to opt for instead well it was tough nuts to me and left brandishing toast in a minute of forgetting about the spread situation in my home so I was left with no option!
This spread comes in a large round plastic tub with a pull on/off lid to the top of it and on that there is a happy looking Mr sunshine on there and I'm told it is Vitalite Dairy Free and contains 75% less saturated fat than butter and that it is suitable for Vegetarians. Around the tube I'm told all that information again and other information includes ingredients being given, a full nutritional chart being displayed, storage information and contact information being given and the size of the tub being stated which is 500g. Nice enough tub, looks ok and it is informative enough but it does have a cheap feel to it.
The Spread Itself:
Well pleasantly surprising actually! It is a light yellow colour, easily spreadable straight from the fridge and is ok tasting. Yes it lacks a slight creaminess due to no dairy products being used in this but it is slightly salted so it's seasoned nicely. It is really greasy which of course makes this easy to spread and if you dip your finger in it, it does taste a little like cheap margarine however on sandwiches I found this fine and it wasn't until I read the information on the tub for the purpose of this review that I actually realised it had no dairy products at all in it to be perfectly honest. I just thought it was a cheap spread. However like I say I found it ok for sarnies and easy to spread! However this stuff on toast or on warm foods (like a blob on potatoes) is terrible. It melts to a watery grease in seconds. It dripped off my toast all over my new top and to say I wasn't impressed is and was an understatement of mammoth proportions! So I would never put it on warm/hot food stuffs again (my top was knackered lol). No where on this does it say it's ok to cook with, however I feel it probably would be ok due to it's high fat content.
Isn't bad tasting it just tastes a bit like Stalk margarine but it is seasoned nicely. I'd buy it if only for sandwiches and it works out really economical too as a little goes a long way lol. Not to bad!
Nutritional Information per 75g Serving:
of which sugars Nil
of which saturates: 0.9g
of which mono-unsaturates: 1.6g
of whih polyunsaturates: 1.3g
Available in all good supermarkets etc priced at about 79p a tub.