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Mars makes u-turn

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2007-05-20

Mars and Snickers

Mars and Snickers

Jewish vegetarians have welcomed the news that chocolate manufacturer Masterfoods is to renege on plans to use animal rennet in its products.

The company which makes popular products such as Mars, Snickers and Twix had previously said its products would no longer be suitable for vegetarians following a decision to change the source of whey in its confectionary and ice-cream range.

In less than a week following its announcement, the company was bombarded by thousands of email complaints as well as 40 MPs signing a petition to complain about the move.

"The consumer is our boss and we had lots of feedback from consumers. It became very clear, very quickly that we had made a mistake, for which I am sorry," said Fiona Dawson, managing director of Mars UK. "There are three million vegetarians in the UK and not only did we disappoint them but we upset a lot of the consumers.

""We have listened to their views and have decided to reverse our decision."

But it could take several months for chocolate in the shops to go back to its vegetarian status, as the company had been producing non-vegetarian products for some time which has already bee delivered to retailers.

Last week, the company said any bar with a sell by date after October 1 would contain animal rennet.

"This is really good news," one Jewish vegetarian told SomethingJewish. "Even though the amount of animal rennet was a small trace amount and the London Beth Din said it was OK to eat, it is still better to have no animal rennet in it."