Mars bars get veggie status back


You believed and you changed their minds

Veggie’s here, there and everywhere all spoke up and protested in numbers and they heard you.

I still suspect it was more of a PR/marketing move (they realised that their profits would dip) rather than one for the animals, but still… it is good too see that a big corporation actually listens to it’s consumers. And not just vegetarians, others too who were disgusted by Masterfoods’ decision to use animal rennet.

Story from the Beeb:

Mars bars get veggie status back

Mars has abandoned plans to use animal products in its chocolate, and has apologised to “upset” vegetarians.

The firm had said it would change the whey used in some of its products from a vegetarian source to one with traces of the animal enzyme, rennet.

The Vegetarian Society organised a campaign against the move, asking members to voice their concerns to parent company Masterfoods.

Mars said it became “very clear, very quickly” that it had made a mistake.

In just one week, more than 6,000 people bombarded the company, which produces the Mars, Snickers, Maltesers and Galaxy brands, with phone and e-mail complaints.

Forty MPs also signed a petition to voice their opposition.

Fiona Dawson, managing director of Mars UK, said the company had listened to customers and decided to reverse its decision.

“The consumer is our boss and we had lots of feedback from consumers who were unhappy about the change,” Ms Dawson said.

“It became very clear, very quickly that we had made a mistake, for which I am sorry.

“There are three million vegetarians in the UK and not only did we disappoint them, but we upset a lot of the consumers.”

‘Principled decision’

The Vegetarian Society had called the move by Mars “incomprehensible” and “a backward step” at a time when consumers were increasingly concerned about “the provenance of their food”.

Mars replied that, by admitting its products were no longer suitable for “extremely strict vegetarians”, it was making a “principled decision”.

Now it insists it will begin changing its recipes back immediately.

Dr Annette Pinner, chief executive of the Vegetarian Society, said she was pleased Mars had been “honest enough” to admit it had “made a mistake”.

“A Masterfoods representative has made contact with us and we are very pleased that they now recognise the importance of integrity to all their customers, especially vegetarians,” she added.

Rennet is extracted from calves’ stomachs and was to have been used in the ice cream versions of all Masterfoods’ bars too.

» Link to full article which also has a video report – Plus there is a form where you can send your opinion to the BBC about the whole debacle. Please take a moment leave a comment and mention that you read this on ScouseVeg.

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» Full ScouseVeg coverage

More updates on this to come I’m sure !

4 thoughts on “Mars bars get veggie status back

  • 20th May 2007 at 6:10 pm

    does that mean all masterfoods such as galaxy n malteasers have stopped using rennet or is it jus mars bars?get back to me ASAP

  • 23rd May 2007 at 3:05 pm


    From Masterfoods reply to my email – it is still unclear whether any of their ice creams etc are, at the moment, suitable for vegetarians.

    Please ask people to press Masterfoods to label all their vegetarian friendly foods with the equivalent of ‘suitable for vegetarians’ and press them that vegetarians do not eat any part of an animal however small!

    Thank you for your good work.

    Margaret Moscrop

  • 30th May 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Mars have released a listing of products which have been confirmed as Suitable For Vegetarians – Including the “Best Before” dates of each product. Any product with a date equal to or later than those displayed will be Veggie.


    They have also taken the decision to phase out all non-vegetarian products – so that “in the near future” -all- products will be Vegetarian. They are also considering adopting the VegSoc logo, and becoming VegSoc certified – which will be a first for any MAJOR confectioner. The only product i know of that is would be “Giant Flyers”

    See our website: for more information and links.


    Especially to everyone at Scouse Veg.

  • 15th March 2008 at 3:35 pm

    i’m a chocolate lover & as well as a vegetarian. every month i travel all over the world,but i don’t buy any chocolates becs most of the chocolates are not vegetarian ex:-mars,twix,exc… so ples make worldwide all the chocolates vegetarian,ples.


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