A sugar kick without the gelatine? Sweet. - William Murray

Earlier this week, the entire world (or at least the 6-or-so million people that watched) were shocked to see Lord Sugar name his two finalists both winners of this year’s The Apprentice. One of the winners, Sarah Lynn, is a sweet firm owner. Clearly, Lord Sugar saw the opportunity for a sweet profit. But however much they say everyone loves a sweet, not everyone is able to enjoy them.

Here in the William Murray office we’ve got vegetarians, pescatarians, vegans, and one very sweet toothed person with a gelatine allergy.

Gelatine is essentially a protein derived from collagen, which is sourced from different parts of mammals, with over 412,000 tonnes produced each year globally[1].

Unless you’re a hard-core vegetarian, or someone who has a strange hobby reading the packets of chewy sweets, you probably won’t have come across the sheer amount of confectionery that gelatine is in. But, we’re beginning to see a change, with more vegetarian friendly sweets on offer.

Marks and Spencer has quietly been championing a change in how sugar obsessed veggies get their sugar rushes. They kicked off in 2011 by launching the vegetarian version of their signature Percy Pigs – complete with a ‘Green Ear Guarantee’ to indicate that they’ve ditched the gelatine in favour of plant-based protein pectin. Since then, veggie Colin the Caterpillars, fruit pastilles, and fruit gums have all found themselves proudly on display.

Percy Pig himself turned the grand age of 25 this year, and his life has seen him get married, have piglets and go on holiday where with a tiger and a panda (because who hasn’t?). But for all he’s achieved – surely the most important is making one gelatine intolerant sugar addict happy again.

So here’s to you Percy, the real Lord (of) Sugar, may you lead the way for all vegetarian sweets everywhere.

[1] http://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/gelatin-market-analysis

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