Reading Time: 2 minutes The Percy Pig sweets (Photo: Marks & Spencer)
Reading Time: 2 minutes

British store Marks & Spencer is facing criticism from angry gelatin-loving customers, after revealing it has made its Percy Pigs sweets suitable for vegetarians.

The sweets still appear to contain beeswax (E901) as a coating making them unsuitable for vegans.

But the gelatin, made from boiling animals’ skin, cartilage, and bones, has now gone – leading some to complain on social media, and ask M&S to bring it back.

Changed recipe

“For the last eight years we have been working to help our favorite pig move away from using pork gelatine,” M&S said on Twitter.

“We learned a lot when removing gelatin from our Colin range in 2014, and in 2016 launched our first Percy with our new gelatine free recipe.

“In the three years since, we have progressively introduced the new recipe across all of our Percy range and from May this year we will be able to celebrate that Percy is 100 percent gelatine free and can be enjoyed by everybody.”

‘Outraged’ by sweets

“Are me and my family the only ones outraged by the recipe change to Percy Pigs? one customer named Richard Brackstone asked on social media.

“Marks and Spencer has now changed the recipe for the original Percys to the vegetarian style previously used only in other designated products in the range.

“And quite frankly they’re now disgusting, they taste like chemicals – and they must be, because we all agree on this, and we seldom all agree on anything.”

Gelatin is made from animal parts

Piers Morgan

Controversial Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan waded into the debate, trying one of the sweets on air this morning, before spitting it out in disgust.

“Vegans and vegetarians, go and get your own sweets,” he said. “Seriously, go and get sweets that aren’t called Percy Pigs.

“Go and get ones called ‘Kale Nicies’ which taste disgusting and you can all be happy because they’re made of kale. Leave our pig sweets alone you people. Utterly ridiculous, the world’s gone nuts.”

‘Great news’

Not everyone was so negative, with multiple commentators praising M&S for the move, and one saying: “Veggie Percy Pigs honestly taste better and have a much nicer texture than the ones with gelatin in. I’m not a vegetarian but I always buy the Veggie Percy.”

Now advocacy platform Vegan Future has launched a petition calling on M&S to ditch the beeswax and make the sweets suitable for vegans, saying: “Veggie Percies although do not contain gelatine, do indeed contain a byproduct from one of our little fluffy flying friends: the bee. E901 is added into the mixing bowl somewhere, and is better know as beeswax.

“Some vegans do say that bee products are more on the line of what is animal exploitation and what is not, but regardless of the debate, it would be easier to give it a go without beeswax. Please M&S, can you either have a crack at trying without E901, or if not shoot me over the recipe and I’ll try it out! We would really appreciate this.”

Plant Based News has contacted M&S for comment.

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