Vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike have been ‘bamboozled’ by M&S's new ‘beefy water’.
Earlier this month, M&S set Twitter alight with the relaunch of its iconic ‘food porn’ ad campaign. Now the store is making waves again – but this time, it’s for all the wrong reasons.
Last week, a vegan blogger took to Twitter to call the brand out over its new Super Water range. Mostly made up of water and fruit juices, the new drinks also contain a special ingredient ‘to help build strength’.
Any guesses? Well – rather weirdly – the brand’s new ‘fruity protein waters’ are blended with four per cent beef collagen. Which came as a bit of a surprise to this vegan customer.
‘Dear @marksandspencer, why on earth is there beef collagen in these fruit juices?! #gross #govegan,’ they tweeted.
‘I’d never expect to see animal products in fruit juice – thanks for highlighting!’ one follower replied.
‘This is foul, beef collagen in fruit juice, really Marks and Spencer? How can you justify this?’ asked another shocked shopper.
‘Bought some watermelon and lime water from M&S today only to find out afterwards they’ve added beef to it!’ one unhappy customer exclaimed. ‘Guess it was too much to ask them to indicate that your water isn’t suitable for vegans unlike every other bottle of water.’
Even meat-eaters were horrified by the discovery. ‘Now I’m not a vegan, but even I wouldn’t drink a gravy infused fruit juice,’ said one.
‘I’m not remotely vegan but even I’d be a touch bamboozled by beefy water,’ another agreed.
Many people pointed out that there are plenty of veggie and vegan-friendly sources of protein to pick from, like hemp seeds.
But M&S defended their decision, telling Metro.co.uk that they’d launched the new range in response to ‘growing demand for protein-based drinks that offer added vitamins and benefits’ and that they contained ‘a natural source of collagen, which is a widely used ingredient’.
‘The drinks are clearly labelled with their ingredients on the pack,’ a spokesperson told the publication. ‘However, we are looking into how we can make this clearer for our vegan and vegetarian customers.’