Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Well Done Mars

I was dismayed a few days ago to find out that Mars were planning on changing their production methods to include using animal products and therefore make their products unsuitable for vegetarians.

I'm not a vegetarian and as anyone who knows me can tell you I have a healthy, some may even say unhealthy, dislike and distrust of the nut cutlet-munching, hemp sandal-wearing smug gits BUT I do think that wherever possible we should be moving away from using animal products and certainly not swapping perfectly acceptable non-animal products for animal products. I was very disappointed with the decision and filled out a form on the Masterfood website to say so.

I was very pleased to hear of the reversal of the decision and even more pleased to receive the email below today.

Well done to Mars. We all make mistakes - it's a wise company which acknowledges their customers' anger and speedily rectifies their mistake. I look forward to a summer of Snickers Ice Cream.

Mars Email

"Thank you for taking the time to contact us in connection with the change of ingredients in our chocolate confectionery and ice cream range.

Please note that after recently changing the source of some of the whey that is used in some of our chocolate products we have received lots of feedback that this decision has made it difficult for some of you, especially those of you who are vegetarians, to continue to enjoy our products. We realise that we made a mistake and we apologise. We have committed that we at Mars UK will ensure that a selection of favourite brands including Mars bars, Snickers bars, Galaxy and Maltesers will be suitable for vegetarians in the near future.

Meanwhile we are currently experiencing unusually high volumes of contacts from our consumers and therefore we hope that you understand that, rather than answer your question individually, we are attaching a list of questions and answers we believe would be useful and help answer your enquiry.

Alternatively you can visit our web site ( for this, and other useful information.

Once again thank you for taking the time to contact us. Please do get back in touch, at the dedicated email address below, if your specific query has not been answered and we will do our best to get a speedy response to you.

Yours faithfully

On Behalf of Fiona Dawson
Mars UK

Q1.What are you announcing?

A1.We have recently changed the source of some of the whey which is used in our chocolate products made in the UK from a vegetarian friendly variety to one which contains traces of traditional rennet from animal sources. We have received lots of feedback from consumers and reversed this decision.

Q2.Are you reverting to vegetarian recipes for all of those products that were subject to the ingredient change?

A2.Yes, this announcement means that favourite products - Mars bars, Snickers bars, Galaxy, and Maltesers will once again be suitable for vegetarians.

Q3.You make lots of other brands - what about the suitability of them?

A3.Other products will also be suitable for vegetarians including Minstrels, Revels, and Ripple. However, Twix, Bounty and Celebrations will continue not to be suitable for vegetarians.

Q4.I'm a vegetarian - which products can I eat / should I avoid?

A4.Currently we cannot guarantee that our products contain vegetarian rennet. However, we are starting to change our manufacturing process with immediate effect. We want to get our vegetarian products on the shelves as soon as possible. During this process of changing the recipes we will provide updates on this consumer care website, on a regular basis. If you are not sure about the suitability of our products please call us on 0845 0450042.

Q5.Why did you decide to change the ingredients in the first place?

A5.We made the change to broaden our supply base in order to ensure we could continue to provide our consumers with products of consistent quality in the future.

Q6.Will you now consult with consumers on any future changes to products?

A6.Yes. This change was a mistake and we are sorry that we may have prevented consumers from enjoying the products they've always enjoyed."

No comments: