In what could be the quickest product reformulation in history, crisps giant Walkers has pledged to change one of the recipes for its new wholegrain SunBites snacks range before it has even hit the shelves.
Although two flavours are vegetarian-friendly, one - Oven Roasted Onion & Rosemary - contains a rennet from animal sources.
Company bosses, unaware of this until last Friday, when it was pointed out by a journalist from The Grocer - have decided to remove the rennet in a bid to avoid a repeat of the débâcle that engulfed Mars UK this year.
In May, we revealed that Mars was changing the recipe of its most popular products to contain animal rennet, rendering them unsuitable for veggies.
A media backlash followed, resulting in a humiliating climbdown for the company, which took out national newspaper adverts promising to switch back to the original recipe. This week, a spokeswoman for PepsiCo UK, which owns Walkers, said: "We have been able to source an alternative natural flavour that doesn't contain animal rennet, which we will be using from spring 2008, ensuring vegetarians will be able to enjoy Oven Roasted Onion & Rosemary along with our other SunBites flavours."
The Vegetarian Society praised Walkers for considering vegetarian needs. "Since the Mars scandal vegetarians are standing up for themselves much more and this seems to have had an effect on manufacturers" said a spokeswoman.