Asda and their opinion on vegan products

Around Christmas time I had a real craving for donuts. My wife (who runs this blog) makes the best donuts I’ve ever had, but they take time and sometimes you just want to grab something and tuck in. So, living right next to a large Asda, I went on a mission to find out what their donuts were made of.

Now, I know in the past that Asda’s donuts were vegan, however that was a few years ago and I couldn’t find any up-to-date documentation so I went to their website. Of course, there was no information there so I phoned the helpful number like suggested. I was then told to check the website. That’s the same website that told me to call this number.

The next piece of advice was to ask a member of the bakery team in-store so I called my local store and asked. I was put on to a member of the bakery team who didn’t know so they went to their manager who also didn’t know.

I decided to email them:

Hi,

I believe in the past that your bakery doughnuts, with the exception of the custard ones, were vegan. I would like to know if this is still the case. I know there is no reason that they shouldn’t be vegan however I also know that unnecessary ingredients are often used in products.

I can’t find any information on your website, I have also phoned your customer services and my local Asda’s bakery department yet no one can answer me?

Can you please tell if any of your bakery items are vegan and if so, which ones?

It was about a week until I got a response which was:

Dear Steve,

Thank you for contacting us to ask about our food and drink that’s suitable for a vegan diet.

You might have noticed that we do label vegetarian foods in our stores, but unfortunately we don’t have any immediate plans to label vegan products in the same way. We’ve seen that more and more people are becoming vegetarian, so we’ve tried our best to cater for this. At the moment, we haven’t seen an increase in the number of people wanting foods that are specifically vegan.

However after speaking with my colleague here I regret to inform you that we are unable to classify any of our products as Vegan due to the control of our products perhaps in the factories were made etc and what other products that factory may use or come into contact with. Therefore as we are unable to guarantee this we advise are customers to check the ingredients label themselves for there own clarification.

Thanks for letting us know your feelings about this. We’re always interested to know what our customers think and we’ll certainly bear your comments in mind the next time we review our product ranges. I hope we’ll be able to welcome you back into one of our stores again soon.

I’m sorry I couldn’t be of any further assistance. Please don’t hesitate to contact us again should you have any further enquiries.

Kind Regards

Nisha Keaton
ASDA Service Team

I can’t help but think this is an unsatisfactory response. From this, I am told that Asda do not care about people with a vegan diet. I am then advised to check the labels. Now, I don’t know about you but since turning vegan I don’t buy anything without checking the labels. The problem is, I am enquiring about products that Asda do not label.

I understand that they cannot categorically say any of their products are suitable for vegans due to the environment they are produced in, however the very least they could do is provide accurate information on what is inside their products. I mean, seriously, does no one at Asda know what are in their donuts? I find that deeply troubling.

The last line of this email encouraged me to contact them again if I had any further enquiries, which I did, clarifying that I simply wanted to know what is in their bakery products. That was on the 18th January and I’m still waiting for a response. I don’t hold up much hope.

So, to conclude, if you are looking for vegan bakery goods, Asda is a lost cause. They may well be vegan but no one actually knows this. I’d advise you to go to Sainsbury’s, who have less mysterious ingredients. They also like to label their vegan products.

10 Comments

  1. Ana says:

    So frustrating !!! I’m going to email them now !

  2. natasha says:

    I stopped shopping at. Asda purely for their lack of quality on their products and the lack of vegetarian produce within such a large supermarket.

    As I am a busy working mum of two I like to do my food shopping under one roof which is why we originally shopped at Asda but I used to find their fruit and get was never refilled in time and it was always mouldy or when I did get a chance to buy fresh food it would go off very quickly.

    Does it give alue for money? I’ll let you decide.

    • Charlotte says:

      Hi Natasha,
      Asda is a joke. It certainly does not give good value for money. Their vegetarian range is awful, and I don’t think it will change any time soon as their attitude/ understanding of veganism is very poor.

  3. Lisa says:

    Oh ASDA ……. i used to be an ASDA shopper but recently i’ve been finding things out about ASDA which i’m very unsatisfied with. Animal testing is a topic which annoys me greatly i have emailed them but nothing yet. I have also emailed FRAME who ASDA are subscribed with who i’m not liking at all if i’m honest as they state that ‘they understand that animal testing can not be abolished immediately’ these are the company that ASDA are with ……..

    I’m defiantly boycotting ASDA

  4. Debbie says:

    I am beginning to get annoyed at Asda. I am a vegetarian and also lactose intolarant so I’m basically a vegan. I went shopping in Asda and found some lacto free chocolate hazelnut spread, very excited as I’ve never had chocolate spread before. So I munched on some but then ten mintutes later I was feeling very ill and unable to breath, my boyfriend read the ingredients on the label and it said not suitable for people with milk allergy suffered, I was very confused by this. I still am confused by this as it says on the front of the label lacto free. After spending a few days in hospital I e-mailed Asda of my story and I have not yet received an answer. I k ow go to Sainsburys as they label all of there food correctly.

    • Charlotte says:

      Hi Debbie,
      Sorry to hear that hope your OK now. They need to sort their labelling out. Watch for ‘improved recipe’ on front of Asda own brand foods – this often means they have added milk to a product that worked just fine without it to start with. For e.g Asda Bourbons and Asda take away rice.

    • Catherine says:

      Lactose intolerant and milk allergy are two different things, being lactose intolerant means you dont have the enzymes to break down the sugar lactose whereas a milk allergy is actually an allergy to milk and what makes it up. So lactose free just means the product does not contain the sugar lactose rather than it being milk free

  5. Jodie says:

    I tend to find that Tesco or Sainsburys are much better at stocking vegan products AND labelling ingredients. I understand this is stressful and as someone who is trialling being vegan (from vegetarian) I too find this very stressful and makes the transition from vegetarian to vegan much harder!

    • Charlotte says:

      Hi Jodie,
      Waitrose have a very good selection of vegan products too, (food/ingredients/household products etc,) also available through Ocado. Anywhere is better than Asda! I hope my blog can be of some use to you as you trial veganism. You might already be aware of these websites, but if your not these are really useful for reviewing vegan products http://www.veggies.co.uk and http://www.veganoo.net

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