The pressure group that took Mars UK to task over the inclusion of animal rennet in chocolate bars has launched an awards scheme to find the UK's best vegetarian confectionery line.

In April, we revealed how a change in Mars' recipes for its most popular chocolate products meant they were no longer suitable for vegetarians. The news provoked an outcry, led by the Vegetarian Society, with Mars eventually forced into an embarrassing u-turn.

The débâcle has inspired the society to launch a new awards scheme to recognise companies that make veggie-friendly sweets and chocolate. "It's true that this year's award has been prompted by the Mars episode," said a spokeswoman. "We received 6,000 emails and letters from customers in the days following the articles in the press and it just highlights how important the vegetarian market is. It will be interesting to see whether we will have many nominations for Mars products, which are mostly vegetarian-friendly again."