Vegan and vegetarian shoppers have reacted with horror after it emerged Marks and Spencer uses beef extract in some of its fruit juice drinks.
The British retailer was called out on Twitter after eagle-eyed customers shared photographs of the list of ingredients on the reverse of the bottle.
Marks and Spencer’s new Super Water Protein juice drinks, which come in ‘orange and passionfruit’ and ‘watermelon with a hint of lime’ flavours, are made up of four per cent hydrolysed beef collagen.
Marks and Spencer has come under fire for including four per cent of hydrolysed beef collagen in its fruity protein waters
One disgusted shopper, Richard Moir, admitted he isn’t a vegan but still wouldn’t drink ‘gravy infused fruit juice’.
And Londoner Liz Mann raged on Twitter: ‘This is foul, beef collagen in fruit juice, REALLY @marksandspencer? How can you justify this?’
The Super Waters, which retail at £2 for 500ml, claim to ‘increase your protein intake’ and are ‘high in collagen to help build strength’.
The label states that the drinks contain 20g of collagen, four per cent of which is derived from cows.
The Super Waters, which retail at £2 for 500ml, claim to ‘increase your protein intake’ and are ‘high in collagen to help build strength’
The British retailer was called out on Twitter after eagle-eyed customers shared photographs of the list of ingredients on the reverse of the bottle
It was first brought to people’s attention by Twitter user @Vegan4Eva, who asked the retailer ‘why on earth’ there is beef collagen in the fruit juices.
Sharing the picture of the ingredients list, Twitter user Lesley Ann wrote: ‘Beef collagen turning up in M&S fruit juice! Vegans and vegetarians be aware… I tweeted M&S yesterday but no response so far.’
Many angry customers took to Twitter to express their views, with several admitting they couldn’t stomach the idea of ‘beefy water’
Rob Stringer also took to the social media site to complain, writing: ‘Bought some watermelon and lime water from @marksandspencer today only to find out afterwards they’ve added beef to it!
What is hydrolysed beef collagen?
Bovine (or beef) collagen is a naturally occurring protein present in the connective tissue, bones, cartilage and hides of cows.
Collagen from cows is similar to what we have in our own bodies.
Bovine collagen typically contains two out of the three types present in human collagen that are said to promote good gut health and help maintain skin, bones, muscles and organs.
There are two forms of bovine collagen used in popular powdered supplements – hydrolysed collagen and gelatin.
Hydrolysed collagen is a form of gelatin that has been broken down into smaller units of protein, also known as peptides, through a process called hydrolysis. These small units of protein are easier to digest and absorb and contain amino acids.
‘Guess it was too much to ask them to indicate that your water isn’t suitable for vegans unlike every other bottle of water.’
In response to his tweet, one user wrote: ‘I’m not remotely vegan but even I’d be a touch bamboozled by beefy water.’
Another tweeted: ‘Beef. Collagen. In. Fruit. Juice. Just think about that for a second,’ following by a series of vomitting emojis.
An M&S spokesperson told FEMAIL: ‘There’s growing demand for protein-based drinks that offer added vitamins and benefits.
‘In response, we’ve launched two new Super Waters containing a natural source of collagen, which is a widely used ingredient. The drinks are clearly labelled with their ingredients on pack, however we are looking into how we can make this clearer for our vegan and vegetarian customers.’
In December last year M&S launched vegan-friendly range Plant Kitchen, a brand-new collection of over 60 plant0-based meals, snacks and ingredients.
Last month we told how M&S shoppers were left baffled and amused by a pair of chocolate Easter bunnies striking a rather ‘suggestive’ pose.
With its backside stuck up high into the air flaunting its milk chocolate tail, the ‘yoga bunny’ could conjure up a completely different scenario in your mind.