May 15, 2007

Cow products don't belong in Mars Bars

Mars BarsI’m not a vegetarian. I LOVE meat. I could eat steak every night of the week if it didn’t cripple my wallet and give me a heart attack.

But the decision by Masterfoods to start using the products of calves’ stomach lining in its Mars, Snickers, Twix and Maltesers brands is completely ridiculous.

Now I know what you’re going to say. We’ve been eating gelatine in our sweets for years. And you’d be right. We have been eating gelatine for years. But what’s the point of adding even more animal products to foods that have been perfectly satisfactory for decades?

Simple. It has to be cost-cutting.

But it’s also mindless arrogance and stupidity from a food manufacturer who must realise they’re swimming against the tide. Just as organic, well-sourced foods are on the up, they start selling something which (unbeknownst to the consumer, as it’s not listed on the packet) turns out to be from a baby cow.

Masterfoods said:

If the customer is an extremely strict vegetarian, then we are sorry the products are no longer suitable, but a less strict vegetarian should enjoy our chocolate.

So you’ve just told a few % of the population to go screw themselves and eat something else. These guys aren’t going to be challenging Google’s business skills any time soon.

- 13 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. The extra money saved by using calf timmy must be more than the money lost of loss of veggies chomping marsbars.

    15 May 2007, 14:18

  2. I don’t see the problem, other than they possibly should highlighted the switch from artificial rennet a bit better. Vegetarians should know what rennet is if they have made the choice not to eat it. It is a very common ingredient. Mars can do what they want, its their profits.

    15 May 2007, 15:31

  3. Matthew, it sounds like it wasn’t their intention to publicise the inclusion of rennet at all. It’s not listed on the ingredients (you’d think it would have to be, but apparently not). Instead, it is listed as ‘whey’ which can be either animal-based or not. The news only came out because a vegetarian happened to ask whether Mars bars were vegetarian, and they were told “well they used to be…”

    Incidentally, I’ve deleted a comment which appeared to be an advert for another chocolate company. Not going to let people use the blog to boost their Google ranking, sorry.

    15 May 2007, 17:45

  4. Not unless they offer you cash.

    waits for offers…

    15 May 2007, 18:41

  5. Does that mean I can’t use your blog to boost my ranking either? :(

    I can see them going back on it if there is enough negative publicity. The animal rights brigade will be going berserk (and they’ll find this entry pdq) and it just screams marketing nightmare.

    15 May 2007, 21:39

  6. Mars Campaign

    Don’t wish to hijack your blog or promote another company, but this is just a notice:

    For all of you who would like to help, please visit:

    Please have a look, and help spread the word. Also, sign the 3000 strong petition We’ve linked to, if you haven’t already. I really think it’s going to make a difference.

    The Masterfoods/Mars product listing is also listed under “Which Products” – you’ll notice some of your favourite chocolate is made by them. It’s a pity if you’re vegetarian, but you can help.

    Have a look at the Vegetarian Society’s “stumbling blocks” section that’s also linked to. It’s enlightening to say the least – tells you about all the ingredients and processing agents to avoid. It’s scary what goes into our food.

    Food processing agents do NOT need to be listed, this is why Gelatine isn’t listed under fanta/tango orange – it’s used “only” to carry the Beta-Carotene colour, and it’s the same reason the Rennet wasn’t listed – its not an ingredient, it’s something thats used along the whey (way… pun intended).

    Many Thanks.

    18 May 2007, 11:50

  7. Personally I think the onus should be on the vegetarian to only eat natural products so they can be sure that they’re not accidentally eating bits of animals, if they’re that bothered. As a meat and chocolate eater, I’m all for them putting animals in all chocolate, providing it tastes nice, and lowers costs for me.

    18 May 2007, 16:31

  8. Roma Anderson

    I think it’s horrible what they are putting in chocolate, i am a veggie and now have to be really careful what I eat!

    19 May 2007, 15:32

  9. as a veggie, i am rather sad about this as i rather liked mars bars, does this apply to their ice cream ones too? if so i shall weep into my vegetarian hot chocolate…

    20 May 2007, 02:08

  10. Well, the Veggies have won. Mars are reverting to their old recipe.

    20 May 2007, 09:39

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

    Oopsies. :)

    20 May 2007, 10:41

  12. “Cow products don’t belong in Mars Bars”

    It’s good to see they’ve backed down but there’s still the problem of all that milk in the chocolate…

    21 May 2007, 19:50

  13. That’s a very good point Daniel. And I wonder how the rest of you feel about your rennet-coated doritos chips?

    In fact do any of you really think about what you’re eating? How about the bread from the supermarket? Do you realise that the spongy crap that passes for bread these days is kneaded in huge vats like concrete-mixers and is on the verge of being nutritionally worthless? How about your Prawns? Have you noticed the explosion of bigger prawns available in recent years? That’s because of intensive prawn farming in places like Thailand and China. And if the stuff from China doesn’t kill you, you’ll be happier knowing that the stuff from Thailand has led to vast tracts of land becoming salinated and impossible for other use. How about picking up a nice punnet of strawberries from Tescos? Wait, these are almost universally tasteless! How so? Welcome to the creation of uniform groceries, where machines pick suitable apples on the basis of size and hue!

    What a wonderful world we live in! We’re all a bunch of idiots.

    24 May 2007, 21:49

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