UK vegetarians call for Jelly Babies to be reformulated

By Peter Stiff

- Last updated on GMT

The Vegetarian Society in the UK has publicly requested that
Cadbury Trebor Bassett's reformulate it Jelly Babies product to use
vegetarian, rather than animal-derived gelatine.

The request came, strangely, in the form of an award: every year at the society bestows its 'imperfect world award' on a manufacturer that unnecessarily animal-derived products for which vegetarian alternatives exist.

Speaking to, chief executive of the society Tina Fox said that unfortunately many confectionery products are unsuitable for vegetarians even though there are alternatives to the offending ingredients.

She said: "It's frustrating as some manufacturers are using alternatives so they must work, however there is no consistency as many manufacturers are reluctant to change."

The award is intended to make the point to producers that they are losing out on a big slice of the market. Members are asked to nominate and sweets seem to come up a lot."

A Cadbury Trebor Bassett spokesperson said:

"We have looked at alternatives to gelatine, but unfortunately we were unable to replicate the texture that makes Jelly Babies popular".

Vegetarian Society also drew attention to the point that the use of gelatine was particularly pertinent in a product enjoyed by children, who may be unaware that they should check sweets to see if they are vegetarian friendly.

But Cadbury Trebor Bassett said that Jelly Babies are not marketed to children and in fact two thirds of packets sold went to households with no children.

Fox stressed that the society would be more than happy to work with confectioners and any food producer who wished to make its products suitable for vegetarians.

There are now 3-4 million vegetarians in the UK. The Manchester-based society, which is a registered charity, aims to educate food producers and consumers.

The society, established in 1847, also grants approval to vegetarian products, an honour it won't be bestowing upon Smarties, the product that won last years award. Nestle has not acted on the recommendations.

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