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Former Spurs and Manchester United footballer Alan Brazil has vowed to boycott Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles, following the company’s decision to ditch gelatin from its recipe. 

He made the comments during his TalkSport breakfast show on Friday. 

‘If they don’t like it, don’t eat it’

“Rowntree’s has changed its 139-year-old Fruit Pastilles recipe to appease…wait for it…vegans”, he said, later adding: “If they don’t like it, don’t eat it.”

When his co-host asked “Are you a Fruit Pastilles man Al?” he responded “Yes. I won’t be now.”

Giving no indication that he intends to try the new recipe, which launches in October, the pundit concluded his rant with: “What’s wrong with these people?”

Twitter weighs in

Brazil’s comments sparked a flurry of remarks on Twitter, with one user commenting: “I love this situation because it puts Alan Brazil in 1 of 2 camps. 1. Getting angry at something negligible for no apparent reason (likely) 2. He ate fruit pastilles not for their flavour, but for their meat content (less likely but still fun to imagine).”

Another said: “I’ve eaten vegan sweets, they taste exactly the same as ones that aren’t so the new Fruit Pastilles probably will too. Definitely not worth worrying about.”

Hector Bellerín criticism

This is not the first time Brazil has courted controversy by expressing anti-vegan sentiment. In 2018, he suggested Spanish footballer Hector Bellerín ‘get a steak down’ him, following his team’s loss to Atletico Madrid.

In response, Bellerín told MR PORTER: “When it comes to nutritional literature, everyone is very old-school… ‘You need milk, eggs, meat!’ But actually, you are able to get the same amount of protein, carbohydrates and vitamins from plants.”

‘Many requests’ for vegan sweets

The new Fruit Pastilles recipe will be rolled out from next month, starting with sharing bags. It promises a softer texture while preserving the famous fruity flavor. The move comes as a result of increasing consumer demand for a gelatin-free formula.

Meg Miller, Brand Manager for Rowntree’s said: “We’ve had many requests from consumers over the years asking if we can make Fruit Pastilles vegetarian or vegan. We want the brand to be enjoyed by as many consumers as possible and so we are delighted to be able to introduce our new vegan-friendly recipe across the full range of sweets.

“In developing the new formulation, we were very conscious of our responsibility as custodians of this much-loved brand and its long history. Through this recipe change, we’ve made the sweets slightly softer, which we know has been a market trend for a number of years. However, our priority was to preserve the fabulously fruity chew that has made Fruit Pastilles a classic for almost a century and a half.”

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