Biscoff Spread – NOT a Viable Peanut Butter Alternative

Biscoff Spread has been slowly penetrating the US market using our attraction to anything foreign as a sign of quality:

EUROPE’S ALTERNATIVE TO PEANUT BUTTER

The sweet (and yes, tasty) spread touts the following:

  • Biscoff Spread is made with Original Lotus Biscoff Cookies.
  • The main ingredient is Biscoff – made with over 57% Biscoff cookies.
  • It has a creamy and smooth structure with consistency of peanut butter.
  • Contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
  • It is free of nuts!
  • Biscoff Spread is Vegan.
Let’s check under the hood shall we?
What you need to know:
A spread made from cookies does not sound like a healthy start. Here is the ingredient list (which you won’t find on the manufacturer website):
Biscoff 57% (wheat flour, sugar, vegetable oil (contains one or more of soybean oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, palm oil), soy flour, brown sugar, leavening (sodium bicarbonate), salt, cinnamon), canola oil, sugar, emulsifier (soy lecithin), citric acid. Contains wheat, soy.
Nutrition facts: A serving of one TBSP has 88 calories.
  • A serving of Biscoff, One TBSP, has 90 calories. This may seem like half the calories of peanut butter. But peanut butter jars are mark a serving as a 2 TBSP. If we were to compare similar serving sizes, the calorie count would be the same.
  • Plain peanut butter is made with just peanuts and salt and thus has zero sugar. Biscoff has one and a quarter TSP of sugar per TBSP (one third sugar by weight!), or 2.5 tsp per equivalent peanut butter serving.
  • While peanut butter has beneficial fats, Biscoff’s fats come from a mix of oils, usually the cheapest on the market at date of procurement by the manufacturer.
  • Peanut butter has 2 grams of fiber per serving. Biscoff has none.
So is this a good alternative to peanut butter? We don’t think so.  Enjoy Biscoff as a treat, but don’t confuse it with peanut butter, which has good nutrition in it.
Closing thought – wasn’t Nutella supposed to be the European alternative to Peanut Butter? Not that it’s any healthier than Biscoff. Just saying.

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  • Helen

    I’m from Europe (the Netherlands) and I’ve never even heard of this stuff. We Europeans like our Nutella, yes, but we also like just good old peanut butter. It’s a very popular food here as well. And unique to the Netherlands is ‘hagelslag’ and ‘vlokken’…both chocolate sprinkles for on a sandwhich. Not the healthiest choice, but oh so good. As for this Biscoff stuff…the European part is just an American markteting thing.

    • Charlotte

      I agree. I have lived in 3 European countries (UK, Norway and the Netherlands) and I have also never heard of this product. I have heard of Nutella and Hagelslag though. Mmmm… Hagelslaaaag. :o D

      • Kal

        UK and France here.  Have never heard of this product.  The “European alternative” to peanut butter is peanut butter.

    • Charlotte

      I agree. I have lived in 3 European countries (UK, Norway and the Netherlands) and I have also never heard of this product. I have heard of Nutella and Hagelslag though. Mmmm… Hagelslaaaag. :o D

    • Ben

      No, it’s not just a ‘marketing thing’. It was ‘invented’ in Belgium and it’s been around since 2007.

  • http://quipstravailsandbraisedoxtails.blogspot.com Michele Hays

    Something I wrote on Nutella: http://quipstravailsandbraisedoxtails.blogspot.com/2011/02/policy-point-wednesday-et-tu-nutella.html

    Of course, Italian cookie manufacturers come right out and says cookies are for breakfast: http://www.balocco.it/it/dolce_quotidiano.php?id=11

    • Anonymous

      Because American cookies are too sweet, they are not a food to Italians, they look more like a candy, to our taste. Italian cookies, normally, are much healthier and can be eaten in larger quantities. There are some sweet cookies also, but we don’t eat them as breakfast.
      Those cookies from Balocco that you linked now are the kind that we wouldn’t eat for every breakfast, but are still less sweet and healthier than regular American cookies.
      I can eat half pack of Italian cookies but I won’t eat more than 3 or 4 of “Chips Ahoy” (that seem one of the most sold American cookies).

  • Jayden Reynolds

    I’m an American and I’ve never heard of this stuff, so you Europeans aren’t the only ones out of the loop.

  • think outside the box

    But this could be a good option for those with peanut allergies who are required to use peanut-butter-type items in classrooms.

    • Liz

      Who is required to use peanut butter type items in classrooms? Why not use sunflower or soybean spread then?  This stuff is terrible for you (delicious as it is.)

  • Sarah

    I’m in London, England (UK) and I’ve never heard of it.  Nor have I ever seen Nutella touted as an alternative to peanut butter!  Most people I know wouldn’t use Nutella except as a very occasional treat, if at all.   

  • Teresa

    This is a strange product.  Spreading cookie on a cracker or a slice of bread?   Just strange.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=725525204 Jim Cooper

    This stuff just showed up in a freestanding display at Stop and Shop in Connecticut. I was going to write about it, but you beat me to it. It is definitely weird.

  • Needcaffein

    Absolutely not, this is not an “alternative to Peanut Butter”
    This is BETTER than Peanut Butter, Hell Yeah.

  • Needcaffein

    Biscoff Spread has a different name in Europe. It is called ”Speculoos Pasta” in Franch, Holland, and Belgium

    • Helen

      I’m from Holland, and that name doesn’t ring a bell, either. It must be a recent product, because it sure wasn’t around when I was growing up.

  • Lisa

    Ooh, well, if it’s ~vegan~… lol.

  • Valerie

    I am from Belgium and I can tell you that speculoos is very popular and speculoos spread even more. But I would not go as far as saying it’s a European thing. It is a Belgian specialty which is making its way to Europe and now the US. I live in the US and must say that I’m really happy it’s now available here because speculoos spread is the one thing I would always smuggle in my luggage…

  • Giddypoo

    This stuff taste soooooo good! I think its OK in small amounts if u have self control which I don’t!

  • Liz

    When I first saw this in the store here in the US, I Googled to see what I could find.  It IS available in Europe (in fact I recently saw it in the Netherlands) but it’s not exactly some sort of traditional European spread.  It was invented in Europe (Belgium, I believe) in 2008, as the result of a contest.  So yes, it’s European, and yes, it was European before it was American, but no, not all Europeans are on the Biscoff Spread bandwagon.

    That said, THANK YOU for this post.  I love love love this stuff, but I realize that it is essentially a dessert spread – pretty much no better for you than cake frosting.  I’m baffled by all the people who are declaring this a great alternative to peanut butter.  It really bears no resemblance to peanut butter, except being the same color and (sort of) the same consistency.  It bears slightly more resemblance to “peanut spread,” which is what some people call peanut butter – those spreads so filled with added sugar and oil that they can’t technically be called peanut butter.  (Look carefully!) But even those spreads have some peanuts and therefore healthy oils.

    If you consider this its own thing to be eaten in moderation, fine.  But as an everyday replacement for peanut butter (especially for children)….? No, no, no.  People are so stupid. If you’re allergic to peanuts, eat a turkey sandwich or something.

  • Penny Edwards MS, RD/LDN

    For the children on severe protein restrictions, such as those with PKU, this product is a wonderful alternative to peanut butter; it only contains ~ 1/2 gram protein per serving. 

  • Pingback: Biscoff calories | Fitnesscoach36

  • Tootsie Pop

    I just spotted this today as i was looking for something to sub peanut butter…..it is SOOOOOOO YUMMY! My kids loved the taste as well. I wouldn’t go as far as to eat it on a sandwich, but maybe a thin layer on multigrain crackers or wheat toast wouldn’t be so bad :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/a1rose Adrienne Smith

    I live in Germany currently and haven’t ever heard of this either. It just randomly popped up in my pinterest feed… lol.

    Though, something that is REALLY good is Mr. Choc; Choco Duo. That shit is DELICIOUS. lol

  • amu

    I think what they mean by “alternative” is that people that may have peanut allergies might be able to tolerate it to get that creamy nutty craving fulfilled. There may be sunflower oil and some people that have peanut allergies may NOT be able to eat this depending on their sensitivity or allergy to certain types of nuts. Not everyone can eat peanuts. This is simply a treat just as nutella (which consists of nuts). I know that I feel safer having this in my house than nutella or peanut butter because I have young ones that have food allergies.

  • Ashley Sexton

    You guys wanna compare it to peanut butter in regards to nutrition ….meanwhile im having a hard time putting it down….final thought….amazing idea …i will buy it again ….Ashley from Orange County Ca

  • Cornucopial

    This stuff tastes really good and is useful as a treat for people who can’t eat peanut or soy butter but crave something similar. Having this on a piece of bread as a treat for someone on a restricted diet who doesn’t eat much and who you are trying to get some calories into and some appetite going (elderly people, for example), this is a good choice.

  • http://twitter.com/DiningDialysis Dining on Dialysis

    It’s a great alternative for we dialysis patients. Peanut Butter is way too high in potassium and phosphorous for us.

  • Amanda Deman

    speculoos!!!! that is all over Belgium

  • QQQ

    Anybody that thinks something called “cookie butter” is healthy deserves to be obese. smdh

  • lythandrel

    For those in NL that haven’t heard of Biscoff spread, compare it to Speculoos (I believe there’s also a spread made from those cookies).

  • Papa Emeritus

    Oh, no, I’m going to lose my 2 grams of fiber! Oh, woe is me! So eat a handful of bran and enjoy this stuff or nutella. It’ll taste better going in, and smell better coming out later on.