M&S has faced criticism after Percy Pigs have been labelled as ‘misleading’ by an obesity campaign.
The popular product changed its recipe last year to make it entirely vegetarian after they removed the gelatine ingredient.
The front of the packets of Percys include phrases like ‘Made with real fruit juice’, ‘No artificial colours or flavourings’.
At the launch of his National Food Strategy, restaurateur and report author Henry Dimbleby said that he thinks these phrases are ‘misleading.’
He said: ‘One of the most egregious sins of the modern food industry is its habit of clothing itself, and its products, in false virtue.
‘“No added sugar” is the boast on Innocent’s lemon and lime-flavoured Juicy Water – quite omitting to mention the eight teaspoons-worth of natural sugars from grapes and pears.
‘“No artificial colours or artificial flavourings” trills the packaging for Percy Pig, the “soft gums made with fruit juice”.
‘These can be found near the tills at Marks & Spencer, within spontaneous reach of tiny hands. How many parents take the time to check the ingredients list?
‘If they did, they might (assuming they know how ingredient lists work) be agog to find that the three largest ingredients by weight are glucose syrup, sugar and glucose-fructose-syrup.
‘I single out Marks & Spencer here, not because it is the biggest sinner, but because it is such a well trusted company.
‘A British institution, M&S has the pledge “we always strive to do the right thing” as one of its guiding principles. If M&S – which is a great deal more scrupulous than many food companies – is guilty of such trickery, you can be sure the practice is ubiquitous.’
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