Yes, Percy Pigs are vegan and vegetarian. As of May 2022, Marks & Spencer made all Percy Pigs vegan-friendly. In recent years, M&S permanently removed the gelatin from their Percy Pig range, making them all vegetarian-friendly. Now, with the removal of beeswax, they’re vegetarian and suitable for vegans.
Percy Pigs have been a beloved treat in the UK since their inception in 1992. They’re squishy, fruity, and delicious, appealing to both kids and adults alike. However, as with many gummy candies, a lingering question always popped up among vegetarians and vegans: “Can we eat these?” Vegetarianism and veganism aren’t just diet choices for many. They are ethical decisions that consider the welfare of animals, the environment, and health.
What Are Percy Pigs Made Of?
Percy Pigs, like most gummy candies, are made primarily of sugar, fruit juice, and a gelling agent. Originally, the gelling agent in question was gelatin. Gelatin, derived from animal bones, was the go-to choice for many candy manufacturers for its excellent gelling properties. However, it’s an ingredient that’s off the menu for vegetarians and vegans.
Beyond gelatin, these delightful pig-shaped treats also contain fruit juice, which gives them their signature fruity taste. They are colored with natural fruit and vegetable extracts, avoiding the synthetic dyes that some other candies use.
In an age of increasing dietary awareness, consumer demands started shifting. They wanted the same tasty treats but without the ethical dilemma of consuming animal-derived products. Recognizing this, Marks & Spencer decided to adapt and evolve.
Percy Pigs Common Ingredients List:
- Sugar: The primary ingredient in most candies. It gives Percy Pigs their sweet taste.
- Fruit Juice: Provides the fruity flavor in every bite.
- Maltodextrin: Often used in candies as a filler or thickening agent.
- Natural Colorings: Derived from fruits and vegetables to give the candies their pink hue without using synthetic dyes.
- Gelling Agent: Once made from gelatin, now replaced with a plant-based alternative.
- Natural Flavors: Extracted from fruits and other natural sources to enhance the taste.
Is Percy Pigs Vegetarian?
Yes, Percy Pigs are now entirely vegetarian and vegan. This transformation didn’t happen overnight. For years, vegans and vegetarians had to sadly pass on the Percy Pigs due to their gelatin content. But things began to change. Marks & Spencer first made strides to cater to the vegetarian crowd by eliminating gelatin.
With beeswax, another non-vegan ingredient, used to give that shiny finish to the candy, it also became a reformulation focus. Beeswax, harvested from beehives, may not harm the bees directly but is still considered an animal byproduct. Removing it was the final step in making Percy Pigs both vegetarian and vegan-friendly.
The shift to make Percy Pigs vegan wasn’t just a win for vegetarians and vegans. It’s a win for everyone who believes in making more ethical and sustainable choices in their daily lives. It also proves that a brand can maintain its product quality and taste while adapting to modern ethical standards.
The journey of Percy Pigs from being just another gummy candy to a symbol of adaptability and change in the food industry is truly remarkable. For many, this candy isn’t just about a sugary treat; it’s a nostalgia-packed bite that reminds them of childhood, simpler times, and the joy of a sweet treat.
Brands evolving to meet ethical and dietary needs showcases the power consumers have in driving positive change. By listening to their customer base, Marks & Spencer secured their loyal clientele and expanded their market to vegans and vegetarians.
In the end, Percy Pigs’ transition to becoming vegan-friendly isn’t just a victory for the vegan community. It’s a testament to the evolving ethos of the food industry, moving towards a more inclusive and compassionate future.