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This is not vegan

I don’t know what goes on.

If you were creating a dairy free drink for the UK market, would you at least consider making a tiny bit more effort to ensure the product was suitable for vegans?

I stumbled upon this new soya and fruit drink today in Holland & Barrett and first thought I had found a vegan product. The bold packaging claim that it is dairy free made me hopeful.soya drinkI picked a bottle from the fridge to scan the ingredients and was disappointed to see honey listed.


Am I alone in thinking the manufacturer is being shortsighted by including honey, instantly making this drink not suitable for vegans? There are many natural plant based sweeteners available and a dairy free drink can easily be vegan.

I don’t know how many vegans there are in the UK, but I imagine making the simple alteration to a recipe in order to change a drink from vegetarian to vegan would increase a brand’s potential market by a sizeable amount.

What are your thoughts? What could this brand use as an alternative to honey?

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Written by fatgayvegan

  1. What the wha?!? No you are not alone Mr FGV. Good grief…..

  2. I find Holland & Barrett increasingly awful. The so-called healthy meal options are poor, a lot of the otherwise vegan sweets are coated in shellac, and I had to remind myself that the VitaCoco espresso and mocha drinks that they sell may look like the Chi ones but they are not the same…

    I don’t really bother with it anymore.

    • I know right. Dairy free chocolate coated bananas had Shellac in them.

  3. Sean, you’re so right there. Another short-sighted product that I could be buying but won’t. Part of the vegan lifestyle seems to be educating others as to what it means and why creature-cruelty and exploitation is not an option for us. Interesting to see if the company will respond favourably to our feedback.

  4. Stevia is my current sweetener of choice

  5. A while ago I saw a promotion of this in wfm. When I enquired if it was vegan, I was told it had honey in it but “just a little bit, and its organic”. As if that makes it ok…

  6. You only have to look at free from sections in most supermarkets to see supposed dairy free products including animal derivatives.

    I guess with the increase of “paleo/clean eating” such focus of things being dairy free as if that makes something automatically healthy, sustainable and ethical rather than aiming for and ultimately being proud to stock vegan produce.

  7. I can’t see the point in including honey either. Very disappointing. Having said that, I have seen several things pitched as vegan on facebook that contain honey and had to correct people. Maybe it’s an education thing?

  8. also vivid matcha drinks 🙁 – i mention it EVERY TIME i see them sampling

  9. Shame they are cutting out a sizeable portion of their target market….they could use stevia which is very sweet, my mum even grows it…..or agave nectar….. Or coconut sugar are all good alternatives. Cheers for bringing this to our attention!

  10. As Holland and Barrett sells lots of honey products in the shop I am not surprised. As we a minority foodies we get minority choice. Wouldn’t have bought it anyway.

  11. Hi!
    I recently moved to London and this year my friends are coming to the city for New Year’s. As it will probably get busy (and I live in zone 4), we were thinking of finding a restaurant to go to before the fireworks. Obviously I would want us to go to an all vegan restaurants but as I am the only vegan in the group that is not going to happen. I need to find something else to make sure there will be something there I can eat. Although they don’t mind eating veg food while with me, for New Year’s I know they would refuse it. So – do you (or anyone else who might be reading this) have any vegan friendly restaurants that are not entirely veg to recommend?
    Thank you x

    • I am hosting a completely vegan NYE party and tickets will be on sale soon. My favourite non-vegan restaurant to visit is a Mexican restaurant called Mestizo. They have a separate vegan menu and it is very tasty. I don’t know what they are doing on NYE though.

  12. I think there’s an increasing tendency to see veganism as a human health choice rather than as anything to do with compassion to other animals. I suppose that’s not surprising for corporations as it’s much easier to engage with ideas of lowering cholesterol or whatever rather than having to deal with ethical issues. On this basis I’m not surprised by this kind of thing but it does still piss me off.

    Not quite as much as all those people banging on about grass-fed beef and low-carb regimes who seem incapable of recognising that we can’t feed the world this way but that’s a whole other rant …

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