Costa Coffee under Vegan Social Media Fire for “Non-Vegan Fruit”

Costa Confirms that its Oranges and Satsumas are Coated in Beeswax and Shellac

Who would think when buying fruit at a coffee shop that it is not vegan? A piece of fruit is not vegan? You’d be forgiven for not giving it a second’s thought, but not any more. 

Emma Boylan shared her shock on Twitter when she discovered that fresh fruit served at Costa Coffee is not suitable for vegans. It is no surprise that vegans have reacted with shock.

The mother mother-of-three and school governor from Watford asked the coffee chain why items its apples and satsumas are not deemed suitable for vegans. She posting a photo of their nutritional information on Twitter, questioning why only bananas sold in Costa Coffee are listed as vegan.

Remarkably enough Costa’s fresh fruit salads are not vegan, while the kids’ fruit snack box is not even vegetarian. At first sight, you would imagine that the world has gone slightly mad. 

Costa tweeted Emma back to the effect that it can’t guarantee that all fruit is vegan due to beeswax being used on some fruit coatings.

Twitter correspondence about non-vegan fruit at Costa

Recently the lemons in Pizza Express have similarly been “outed” as not being vegan.

Fruit waxing to maintain a fresh appearance and prevent artificial damage

The fruit is covered in wax coating by spray or dipping to maintain a fresh appearance and to prevent artificial damage. The usual products used for this are beeswax and shellac which are, of course, not vegan. Shellac is a resin produced by a beetle.

This waxing process is often done to oranges, lemons, apples, mangoes and some vegetables such as turnips.

Other waxes that are sometimes used are synthetic polyethene waxes from petrol by-products and natural waxes such as carnauba which comes from the leaves of a palm.

There is clearly a commercial marketing advantage to be had if a chain decided to only use natural waxes in its supply chain. Any takers?

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Richard Williams

Richard Williams, a graduate of the University of Worcester in Entrepreneurship, has experience in promoting cruelty-free products recognised by PETA. He is creating Coworking Locations with vegan-friendly gourmet food in an area suited to yogis and collaborative vegan lifestyle brands. He is also working in the Vegan and Yoga Vacation sector. Contact:
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