Posted by: Jo Duxbury | 7 January 2010

The mystery of the ‘vegetarian milk’ solved!

Last March I blogged about a baffling icon on my favourite pot of Woolworths’ yoghurt that said ‘vegetarian milk’. At last the mystery is solved!

This answer is thanks to Georgie, who runs Woolies’ Twitter account (@Woolworths_sa). She picked up on a little FAIL rant I was having earlier this week about poor service at their Canal Walk store and responded immediately, managed to sort out my query, and find the answer to this overdue one too:

When indicating the suitability of products for vegetarians, we need to qualify the vegetarian logo further to specify for which type of vegetarian the product is suitable. We therefore use the following vegetarian logos on Woolworths products:

The “vegetarian milk” logo is therefore used on the yoghurt to indicate that the product is suitable for vegetarian who consume milk, i.e. it is not suitable for vegans.  The logos are not product ingredients.  Other logos used on this product label include “low fat”.  Logos assist customers with identifying suitable products faster.

As correctly stated, Woolworths withdraw all yoghurts in May 2008 when we discovered gelatine was used in the products.  Woolworths yoghurts have not been made with gelatine for years.  In other products we have unfortunately not been as successful in finding suitable alternatives.

If gelatine is used as an ingredient, it is listed by name in the ingredient statement.   And the product label will NOT include a vegetarian logo.

The copywriter in me suggests they perhaps include a colon after the word ‘vegetarian’ or use the airlines’ terminology (Lacto Vegetarian / Ovo Vegetarian / Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian / Vegan).

Nevertheless, I’m very impressed that a big company like Woolworths is using social media to respond quickly to customers. Nice one 🙂


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