Source: Kraft Heinz

Heinz claimed it had reformulated the product in response to consumer feedback

Coeliac shoppers are vowing to boycott Heinz after it reformulated Beanz with Sausages to contain gluten.

The supplier last week launched what it claimed were “improved” versions of its canned sausage products – co-branded with sausage giant Richmond.

However, a recipe change has meant Beanz with Sausages contains wheat rusk and wheat starch for the first time. It also now includes soya and sulphates – as does Spaghetti with Sausages, which has always contained gluten.

Many coeliac shoppers used X to complain. “Just cancelled everything I buy from Heinz as they’ve changed to your sausages which are not gluten free,” one shopper posted to Richmond.

“Why would you do this,” another asked Heinz. “Yours was the only brand of beans & sausages coeliacs could have.” Other consumers called on retailers to develop their own gluten-free alternative to Beanz with Sausages. One posted: “Is this something M&S could look at producing?”.

Another tagged Aldi, writing: “Given how great you are at marketing, now is the time to pull some gluten-free beans and sausages out of the bag.”

Speaking to The Grocer, The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation co-founder Nadim Ednan-Laperouse said: “In a world where more and more people are becoming allergic to foods, it is disappointing when companies add an allergen to a product, rather than reducing the number of allergens in product.”

“Such an action immediately limits further the food choices of people with certain food allergies.”

Heinz defended the reformulation – which was “in response to consumer feedback on the taste and texture of our sausages”, said a spokeswoman.

“We’ve updated consumers on this change via on-pack labelling, marketing communications and through relevant organisations including Anaphylaxis UK, Allergy UK and Coeliac UK.”

The original Beanz with Sausages was “still available to buy via HeinzToHome.co.uk and can also be found in stores as we transition to the new one”, she added.

Richmond sausages contained gluten, soya and sulphates, confirmed marketing & innovation director Chris Doe, who stressed allergens were “always clearly labelled”.