Percy Pigs will STAY vegetarian! M&S announces that fans have voted for the much-loved sweet to remain gelatine-free – after some complained about a change to the recipe

  • M&S announced that Percy Pig will remain vegetarian after a panel voted
  • 100 of their biggest fans – including one with a Percy Pig tattoo – voted last night
  • A 60 per cent majority decided gelatine should be left out of the ingredient  
  • This comes after some shoppers criticised Percy Pigs after the recipe changed
  • The sweets no longer contains gelatine to make them suitable for vegetarians

Marks and Spencer have announced their popular Percy Pig sweets will remain vegetarian.

Last month the retailer withdrew the gelatine ingredient from the sweet’s recipe, prompting outrage from some disappointed fans.

Many social media users claimed the sweet no longer tasted the same, calling for M&S to keep a vegetarian and to reintroduce the original version.

However after the store invited 100 Percy Pig lovers to a panel vote last night, with the 60 per cent majority voting to keep the sweet 100 per cent vegetarian for the foreseeable future.

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Marks and Spencer have announced their popular Percy Pig sweets will remain vegetarian, after 100 of their biggest fans took to a panel to vote on whether to reintroduce gelatine to the ingredients last night

M&S confirmed: ‘Last night we invited 100 of Percy Pig’s mega fans into Percy HQ to take the big vote; deciding if M&S should bring back a special edition classic Percy Pig pack with the gelatine back in, or, whether classic Percy should remain 100% veggie friendly.

‘At 8pm, the results of the secret ballot were revealed and showed 60% in favour of keeping classic Percy 100 per cent vegetarian forever.’

They continued: ‘The mega fan electorate were selected from a staggering 6,000 M&S customers and colleagues who entered a social media competition to locate the UK’s ultimate Percy Pig fans and form the ‘Percy Pig Panel’.

‘The chosen panellists included Leah Hutchinson-Saxon from Manchester, who refuses to eat any other sweet and dresses up as her idol Percy, Hannah Leicester from Hampshire who will feature Percy Pig sweets on her wedding top table in four weeks’ time and Jason Green, who works at the M&S Worcester Blackpolen store has Percy Pig tattoos’.’

The 60 per cent majority voting to keep the sweet 100 per cent vegetarian for the foreseeable future

Fans went the whole hog, journeying from as far afield as Inverness and Belfast, with a total of over 7,500 miles travelled to be part of this decision. 

The event was a ‘pig deal’ for the mega fans as they excitedly queued for temporary tattoos of Percy and got the opportunity to meet and greet with Percy and his wife Penny in the ‘VIPig’ area while they pigged out on Percy Pigs all night long.

An M&S spokesperson on Percy Pig’s behalf said, ‘Percy would like to wholeheartedly thank all his mega fans who took time out to take part in this momentous vote. 

‘He’s really happy that customers have taken the final decision and he can be 100 per cent veggie-friendly alongside his family and friends in the Percy range. 

‘He’s a modest pig and has found the media attention a little overwhelming but he’s deeply grateful to all the customers who expressed their views and is humbled that people care so much about him.’  

Lat month Marks & Spencer announced they would be letting their 100 biggest fans decide whether gelatine should be reintroduced to their Percy Pigs sweets after shoppers blasted the new vegetarian recipe

Taking to Twitter at the time, they announced: ‘Calling all Percy fans! Watch this Percy update, tell us why you’re the ultimate Percy mega fan and you could be one of the 100 people on our Percy Pig Panel who’ll decide if we should introduce a special edition Percy pack with gelatine back in

Last month Marks & Spencer announced they would be letting their 100 biggest fans decide whether gelatine should be reintroduced to their Percy Pigs sweets after shoppers blasted the new vegetarian recipe. 

The retailer said: ‘M&S wanted as many people as possible to be able to enjoy Percy Pigs and that’s why the pork gelatine has been removed from the classic Percy pack to make it suitable for veggies. 

‘All the other Percy Pig packs were already veggie friendly as well as Colin the Caterpillar, with the classic Percy pack the last to join the veggie party.’

They added: ‘M&S is recruiting 100 mega fans to form the Percy Pig Panel on 16th May to vote on whether a special edition, classic Percy pack with the gelatine back in should be introduced. 

‘Percy’s mega fans are being asked to pitch for their place on the panel by sharing why they love Percy on the M&S Facebook page or M&S Twitter page where the video from Percy can be viewed #PercyPigPanel’.

In the video the retailer admitted that not everyone has taken to the new recipe, adding: ‘..others have got their tail in a spin’. 

Fans quickly took to Twitter and Facebook to share their opinion on the announcement and declaring that they would love to join the panel.

One wrote: ‘Parents and kids both love them. But I don’t understand why you’ve decided to change them? Surely customer choice is the best judge? Then the piggies can live beside each other in perfect harmony and everybody’s happy’.

Agreeing, another said: ‘M&S you made a mistake! The new percy pigs do not taste as good. Keep the original version for meat eaters and keep the veggie version for non meat eaters. 

‘There was nothing wrong with this for years! The saying if its not broken dont fix it comes to mind! I havnt bought the new ones since i tasted them after the changes & I normally buy a packet a week. Bring back old Percy!’

Sharing their delight fans took to Twitter and Facebook to share their opinion on the announcement and declaring that they would love to join the panel

However some defended the move, arguing: ‘I’m not vegetarian or vegan, I don’t eat much meat, but that’s due to the fact I don’t like red meat, BUT, why in goodness sakes, are we getting our knickers in a twist over the fact gelatine has been removed from a sweet!’

Several also questioned the need for the change as ‘Veggie Percy’ packets are already available. 

However some defended the move, arguing: ‘I’m not vegetarian or vegan, I don’t eat much meat, but that’s due to the fact I don’t like red meat, BUT, why in goodness sakes, are we getting our knickers in a twist over the fact gelatine has been removed from a sweet!’ 

Another added: ‘I love Percy. I love that no animal is harmed in the making of him. Who needs bone broth to enjoy a sweet?? Good for you M&S, please don’t go backwards.’  

Disappointed shoppers branded the new recipe ‘disgusting’ and ‘inedible’ on Twitter

The rollout of the updated Percy Pigs was not formally announced by the retailer, meaning shoppers were surprised to find their favourite sweet had changed.

One shopper named Amy tweeted: ‘We have LOVED percy pigs for years. However, we bought a pack recently and myself and my children strongly disliked the taste and we didn’t eat them. 

‘I assumed it was just a bad batch but it happened again. So when I was in the store today I looked at the packets on the shelf and some of them now say ‘suitable for vegetarians’ on the back, while some of them do not. 

‘Have the ingredients changed? Is that why they don’t taste nice any more? Huge shame if they’ve changed after all these years!’

Customers told how Percy Pigs had long been a favourite but that they were now considering giving up the sweets because of the new taste

A post from M&S on Twitter suggests Veggie Percy will soon be phased out of stores

She added: ‘No announcement from M&S and nothing on the packaging to indicate a new recipe! That’s why I thought I’d bought a ‘bad batch’…. and then bought them again. Very misleading and disappointing.’

A Marks & Spencer representative responded saying: ‘Hi Amy our Percy Pigs are now gelatine free but we’re sorry you and your children don’t like the taste. 

‘We’ll let our Food team know what you’ve said – all feedback is really helpful for future recipe reviews.’

What is gelatine?

Gelatin is a protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water. 

It is usually obtained from cows or pigs. 

Gelatin is used in shampoos, face masks, and other cosmetics; as a thickener for fruit gelatins and puddings (such as Jell-O); in candies, marshmallows, cakes, ice cream, and yogurts; on photographic film; and in vitamins as a coating and as capsules, and it is sometimes used to assist in ‘clearing’ wines.

Source: Peta 

Amy’s views were echoed by shoppers across the UK. A woman named Julie posted: ‘Bought two packs today as I’d given them up for Lent… Awful, these are the same recipe as the Christmas pigs and I gave them ones away… Mine are going to be returned.. no notice on the pack that you’d changed the recipe.’ 

Meanwhile a disappointed customer named Morven added: ‘Completely agree – new recipe inedible.’

Percy Pigs were first released in 1992. In 2011 the retailer introduced a vegetarian version of the classic sweet, ‘Veggie Percy’, so ‘even more people can enjoy them’.

A number of iterations have followed in the years since, including the introduction of ‘Penny Pig’ in 2013, ‘Globetrotting Percy’ in 2014 and ‘Percy piglets’. 

There have also been seasonal offerings including ‘Percy meets the Easter Bunny’, ‘Merry Percymas’ and ‘Pumpkin Percy’ for Halloween.  

An M&S spokesperson said: ‘After a lot of hard work (and tasting) we’ve finally perfected a 100% vegetarian Percy – something our customers have been asking us for, for a while!

‘Rest assured we’ve tested the new recipe thoroughly to make sure he’s as close to the original as possible and we have haven’t changed any of the really important things that people love about Percy; the flavour is the same, he still has real fruit juice and never has artificial colours or flavours.’

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