• LABL Vegan Fair Liverpool - Sat 25th March 2017 - St George's Hall

Mars confectionary no longer vegetarian

An email/news update from Mars customer service sent to the Vegetarian Society:

No Mars chocolate brands produced from tomorrow onwards are vegetarian – This includes Galaxy, Mars, Bounty, Celebrations, Maltesers, Milky Way, Revels, Snickers, Topic and Twix.

“Due to a change in the ingredients used in our chocolate recipes from 1st May 2007 many of our products now contain whey. This is a by-product of the cheese making process and uses rennet derived from an animal source. Therefore we feel it is for individual vegetarians to judge whether they are comfortable in consuming cheese products that do not bear a vegetarian symbol; we would consider our products to fall into this same category.

Products that are currently in store or that you may have already purchased that carry a Best Before Date of 1st October or before are still suitable for your consumption, however if you have purchased any products with a best before after this date then we will be more than happy to refund the value of the product. Please see attached lists for further information.”

Vegetarian Suitable Products:

Aquadrops ®
Skittles Fruit ®
Starburst ® Sours/Fruits/Strawberry
Tunes ® Blackcurrant/Cherry/Strawberry
Lockets ® Blackcurrant/ Extra Strong/ Honey & Lemon

Ice Cream:
Starburst® All: Varieties

Milk Drinks:
Mars ® Original Drink/ Extra Chocolate/ Thick Shake
Galaxy ® Smooth and Creamy/ Thick Shake
Maltesers ® Chocolate
Bounty Frappe®
Bounty Drink®

Powdered Drinks:
Galaxy ® Hot Chocolate/ Hot Chocolate With Caramel/ Hot Chocolate Bliss
Maltesers ® Hot Chocolate

Products which may contain whey Derived from animal rennet (ie are not vegetarian):

Bounty ® Dark / Milk
Celebrations ®
Galaxy Ripple®
Galaxy Minstrels®
Galaxy ® Block/Caramel/Fruit & Hazelnut/ Hazelnut
Galaxy Promises ® Cocoa Crisp/ Caramel Crunch/ Roast Hazelnut/Rich Coffee
Maltesers ® Original / White
Mars Original ®
Mars Delight
Mars Planets®
Milky Way ® / Crispy rolls / Magic Stars
Tracker ®Chocolate Chip / Forest Fruit / Lemon / Roasted Nut

Ice Cream:
Bounty ® Ice Cream
Galaxy ® Caramel Swirl Ice Cream / Vanilla / Triple Choc
Maltesers ® Ice Cream
Mars ® Ice Cream / Xtra Ice Cream
Snickers ® Ice Cream / Xtra Ice Cream

Products Which Are Not Suitable for Vegetarians:
M&M’s ® All Varieties
Skittles ® Sours / Rainbow

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May 14th Update: The news has finally reached the national media.
» Click here for all the coverage


  1. Started a petition against Masterfoods if you are interested (http://www.petitiononline.com/MarsWhey/petition.html). Updates and scans of the original letter can be found here: http://masterfoodspetition.blogspot.com/

    Just googled to see if anyone else had started a petition, but came across your site. Hope you don’t mind.

  2. I think it’s appalling that a company as vast as Masterfoods has decided to do this! I love chocolate but I can’t and won’t be eating their products any more! I have signed the petition and think it’s shocking that they have decided to do this!!!!

  3. darryl moloney

    with society becoming more health conscious i think it’s short sighted and poor business sense not to have a vegan option for your products. i do not buy dairy. i will not buy your products any longer.

  4. I think this is disgusting!!!!! my favourite chocolate is galaxy and now i cant eat it because some idiots want to use animals….its perfectly alright with out animal in!!! Is there a petition anywhere i can sign????


  6. There is a site called Care2.com which has petitions – 1 could be set up for this and it would be signed worldwide as Mars is a global brand, K

  7. “Products that are currently in store or that you may have already purchased that carry a Best Before Date of 1st October or before are still suitable for your consumption, however if you have purchased any products with a best before after this date then we will be more than happy to refund the value of the product.”

    My problem. I can’t return them as I’ve already eaten them. /cry.
    The packet of maltesers that I ate on Saturday night have the best before date of 7/10/07.
    I can’t believe that such a big company can deceive the public in this way. We should have had prior notice of these changes (although I obviously would prefer the changes not to happen at all.)
    Will the boss at Mars give up meat for a day, to make up for the meat they made me eat?

  8. i think its stupid.. wats the point if its still gunna be the same except we cant eat them… its stupid and totally unfair

  9. I agree with Laura above – it’s exclusionary. I put it to the company on the phone, do you think your products tasted bad before, and will now taste better? The answer was no, the taste will be the same – so why piss off the nation’s vast numbers of vegetarians and other conscientious eaters? x

  10. i think it is disgraceful that mars have decided to use animal products when there is totally no need for it! i really cant see the sense it at all and feel it is very unfair on vegitarians. im not a vegitarian (sorry) but will not be eating any of there products again!

  11. I think it is horrible!!! There is so many foods i can’t eat and i got alot of my daily proteins from chocolate. I am very disappointed and i just can’t see the point. why can’t chocolate just be made from the things that have ALWAYS been there. I am 13 years old and I love chocolate!! It is sooooooo unfair. : ( ‘cry’


  13. I also think its disgusting as I loved my Mars bars. Not a wise business decision as not only vegetarians but several religions won’t be able to eat their products.

  14. I am absolutely disgusted with the situation, i am VERY disappionted with this. In these times as more people are turning veggie why are they trying to further alienate us? I’ll be boycotting all their products!

  15. Hi!, I`ve been a veggie for 20 years, i`ve devoted myself to it and also to eating at least 1 chocolate bar a day!!! (that includes mars products) I feel the only real losers are MARS as they will miss out financially, it is not very business minded?! there are plenty of other chocolate providers of which I am definatley now a consumer! Anyway have you seen how much fat is in 1 snickers bar?! It should have been more publised so that vegetarians did not eat these products by mistake, that was totally unfair of the company.

  16. claire gilbert

    is there any thing else these not very nice people would like to do to us. why dont they come round my house on pms day now i can’t have my snickers.
    a snikers a day helps my pain go away 🙁

  17. I have posted the following message on the Masterfoods contact page…I really doubt they’ll pay it any attention but just felt I had to comment. I bet they’ve had LOADS of these messages!! It won’t make them reconsider of course (they’ll have conducted extensive consumer research before making the decision, no doubt), but at least it’ll give them something to read in between counting their (hopefully fast-diminishing!) profits:

    “I’m quite certain you have received myriad comments over the last few days regarding your recent decision to start using animal products, so I’ll keep it short: Neither I nor my (many) vegetarian friends will be buying your products again. I fully appreciate that you are a £multi-million, international business and so the opinions and purchasing decisions of a few London-based veggies is hardly going to create shock-waves throughout the organisation but I just felt strongly that I wanted to make my feelings known. It seems such a shame that you have taken a business decision to prioritise money above your customers’ ethical and religious beliefs, and I will be interested to see what effect this has on your overall profit margins. I sincerely hope you will find that vegetarians boycott your products (and not just ‘strict’ vegetarians as your spokesperson so ignorantly referred to us!!! Vegetarians don’t eat meat or meat by-products…that’s it. It’s like asking a tee-totaller if they were ‘strictly’ abstaining from all alcohol…!) and that you may find that your ‘economical’ decision ends up costing you dear, both in reputation and in sales. I think ethically-minded people throughout the land would rejoice in such an irony! ”
    Lots of love to all the wonderful veggies out there!! xx

  18. Prefer To Remain Anon.

    The content of my message to Mars/ Masterfoods:

    “I am one of the many vegetarians who will now be boycotting all your products. It’s a great shame as yours were my preffered brands. [quite true… unfortunately]

    As a retailer I have issues with stocking your products, and I will be informing all of my customers. [Very many are
    jewish – and they are certainly not Kosher]

    It’s a very poor decision with which you have lost a very loyal customer and retailer. You will no longer have pride of place in my store.”

    I’m currently debating whether to start a website dedicated to this issue. I already have the hosting space. If i do, I’ll post it back on here.

    Hopefully they’ll pay attention – if not, well – their loss.

  19. This was nice of them wasnt it?

    I have just bought myself a load of snickers in and now may not be able to eat them. I guess I will be sending them all back so I can get a full refund and see what Cadburys have in stock 🙁

  20. Anonymous Retailer, please do start that site – I am certain it would receive a lot of support. I think this issue needs to be consistently highlighted in order that momentum is maintained…otherwise I worry that either the media coverage will pass people by, or else people will just forget as time goes on, and Masterfoods’ profits will balance out again.

  21. i think it is terrible i used to enjoy maltessers but i will not now eat nothing from your company

  22. Angela Ferguson

    I am really concerned about the labelling on Mars chocolate packs, I have read somewhere that chocolate with a best before date of October 2007 is OK for vegetarians, as I have a stock of Maltesers I have checked the ingredients on November and October 07 packs and can see no difference in the ingredients, had I not heard about this on the radio I would have been non the wiser and would have carried on eating Maltesers oblivious to what they now contain.

  23. @ Cat, This is the Anon Retailer.

    The site has been started, and is up and running. All support, links etc is highly appreciated.


    This is not for personal benefit. Except that i liked their chocolate.

  24. NICE ONE, Anonymous Retailer – the world needs more people like you!!!

  25. Hey skittles and starburst are not vegetarian, they contain gelatin, derived from bones. just to let you guys know 🙂

  26. i have a question, all the points have been made as the uk point of view . . . and i haven’t heard any news about it except from uk media, so just to make sure it changes in all the mars products all over the world right??

  27. hati said:
    …i haven’t heard any news about it except from uk media, so just to make sure it changes in all the mars products all over the world right??

    Good point hati. I’ll look into that.
    Thanks for the note about Starburst and Skittles too.

  28. Hey, Just to let everyone know, there’s an Early Day Motion been launched in support of getting Mars to reverse the decision.

    have a look at http://www.marscampaign.org and click the Early Day Motion link.

    I’d post the actual EDM link, but it was VERY long!

  29. Here’s the EDM link. Not that long after all. Sorry about the comma guys. Fixed


    (I hope it’ll let me post this. It must think I’m spamming).

  30. In response to earlier commment, I am pretty sure Starburst are vegetarian – check the Masterfoods site to be sure, but I seem to recall they’re one of the only ‘safe’ confectionery products still suitable for veggies! x

  31. I think that this is disgusting and unfair to all vegetarians! Masterfoods will loose profit from loss of customers and eventually they are going to have to go back to vegetarian chocolate in order to earn money!!!!!

  32. This is disgusting! Why would people do that?!? There is no need for them to put rennent in our food! I love to eat the chocolate and sweets made by this company! 🙁 Now I cant!!!!!!!!! I would like to point out that i am not a full vegetarian but I still would never eat this and all of my friends agree. Masterfood have been idiots by doing this and we need to do somthing to stop them from putting more of this in our food, before long we won’t be able to eat ANY chocolate! I know nobody wants to eat this junk!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHH BAD MASTERFOOD! BAD!!!!!

  33. I am So appalled at this! I’m a dedicated veggie, i’m 12 years old, and i hate that theyh’ve decided to use this rennet in their chocolate! I used to LOVE malteasers, but unless they stop using the rennet, i’m never eating them again! CADBURYS BETTER NOT DO THIS TOO!!!! AHHH!!! MASTERFOODS=IDIOTS!!!!!

  34. I am similarly very shocked and disappointed at Mars’ decision – my husband and I (both veggies) have always eaten lots of Mars chocolate, but will now be boycotting the entire Masterfoods range unless they reverse this senseless decision. Thanks for the link to the online petition (which I signed) and fingers crossed for the EDM too.

  35. What JUST WHAT were they thinking?!! I love frozen mars bars. This is crazy. But it’s got me wondering exactly how ethically the milk is produced… and the cocoa. Boycott mars, start buying Green & Blacks!!!

  36. Just watching the news while reading this article and masterfoods have backed down, Hooray!!! But seeing as the attitude of masterfoods was initially stuff you if your veggie, I will still boycot them for a while at least.
    So a message to Masterfoods – veggie friendly or not, stuff you!

  37. I think we (all Vegans society) should boycott all products from MarsFood.As this is totally annoying & disgusting

  38. I heard about them changing their recipie when they announced it, and i was a little confused, theyre products didnt carry the Suitable for vegetarians sign which i thought all uk products have if they are infact veggie :S! will they carry the sign now?

  39. @ Roheel:

    Unfortunately there’s no law/legislation on the labelling of vegetarian foods/ non-vegetairan foods – although there are guidelines set by the VegSoc and the FSA.

    While it would be illegal to mislead consumers, ie: “English Beef – suitable for vegans”, non-veg products need not carry a logo.

    In the same vein, Veg products don’t either – although many do, as It’s a major marketing point (ie: all major supermarket brands tend to), while others – Like mars and Vimto have never bothered – they just list it on their sites, or tell you if you call etc.

    However, It’s quite likely they will start carrying a logo, and MAY even be VegSoc approved – possibly for all their products (see my last post). But we don’t know for sure yet I’m afraid.

    If they do, it will of course would be a major step forward for veggies, as yet another major manufacturer would be supporting “the cause”.

  40. it makes me feel sick to think i’ve prob been eating animal products in the choc i’ve been eating and i like many many others love chocolate i cant believe it!!!!!

  41. I am disgusted that such ingredients are put in our chocolate! I am against gelatin and any other animal product that is put into our food. i am appauled that they hide animal products in our food behind numbers!
    Dont hide animal product behind NUMBERS!!
    These companies are sick. I no longer purchase any of those brands. YOU have lost another customer suckers!

  42. Hello,
    If you would like some nice chocolate suitable for vegans and vegitarians like Booja Booja they are avaliabe with the all new Vegan chocolate cake (thats if we dont eat it first) as well as a new small range of chilled foods at Dragon Indulgence in Grand Central Hall.

  43. I’m so annoyed! I loved galaxy… 🙁
    So is cadbury like this aswell?

  44. the gelatin derived from which meat?

  45. i saw a pic from ‘face book’ which mention about gelatin which derived from pig.is that true ?rply me plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz via email or face book.my face book profile name is ‘fawaz fz’

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