UK Retailer Marks & Spencer Introduces New Vegan Labeling

The major brand has just launched 50 new vegan dishes instore - and now it has confirmed that the products will be clearly marked making shopping easier for consumers
Marks & Spencer vegan pizza
Pizza from Marks & Spencer's Plant Kitchen line (Photo: Marks & Spencer)

UK retailer Marks & Spencer has confirmed it will introduce a new labeling system for all of its own-brand vegan products.

The commitment follows the #MarkItVegan campaign by leading UK animal protection group Animal Aid, which was established to urge all major UK supermarkets to label their own-brand vegan products, something that was already done by Sainsbury's and the Co-op.

The announcement follows M&S' launch of 50 new own-brand vegan dishes this week, under its Plant Kitchen line. The vegan label features on all M&S own-brand products that are entirely vegan, with the exception of obvious products such as fruits and vegetables, and also products that carry a 'may contain traces of dairy or eggs' warning.

Vegan labeling

"Marks & Spencer have certainly gone that extra mile to ensure that their offerings of plant-based foods are extensive, exciting and easy to identify," Animal Aid Campaign Manager, Tod Bradbury, said in a statement sent to Plant Based News. "The Plant Kitchen range ticks all the boxes when it comes to exciting foods.

"We also extend our thanks to them for introducing a labeling system for their own-brand vegan products. Such labeling helps not only vegans, but also vegetarians, those reducing their animal product consumption, people wanting to try plant-based foods and those who purchase vegan products for their family members.

"Clearly and consistently labelling products as vegan in some way has benefits for the business as well as the consumer; firstly, it enables those of us who avoid animal products entirely to easily find which products are vegan.

"Secondly, it also helps non-vegans realize how many delicious vegan options there truly are to choose from. When veganism is presented as something that is normal, those who may be a little sceptical are more inclined to give it a try."

M&S joins Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Iceland, and Waitrose in committing to clear and consistent labeling. Lidl is the only UK supermarket which has not yet committed to introducing clear and consistent labeling for its own-brand vegan products.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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PBN Contributor:

Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers. She was previously the editor of Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

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