A supermarket chain won’t be selling any of its new vegan pork pies at its Melton store because it is worried about upsetting locals who are proud of the world-renowned meat product.
Morrisons are due to launch their ‘No Pork’ Pies, which are made from soya and pea protein, across the country on Monday.
But they won’t be stocked in the company’s Rutland Street store in the town, according to a leaked memo to staff.
The supermarket chain confirmed the decision and said it was made because of Melton’s link with its pork pies, which enjoy protected geographical status meaning they can only be made in an area within a close radius of the town.
A Morrisons spokesperson told the Melton Times: “We have let our Melton store know they won’t be selling the ‘no pork’ pie due to the town’s strong heritage with the traditional pork pie.”
The decision was welcomed by the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association, with chair Matthew O’Callaghan commenting: “We make the best pork pies in the world and are proud of them.
“I’m glad at least that Morrisons recognise that.”
He said the association was not against vegan pies and pointed out that a vegan curried sweet potato and butternut squash pie beat off competition from nearly 1,000 rival entries to win the Supreme Champion title this year’s British Pie Awards in Melton.
But Mr O’Callaghan added: “I think using the term ‘No-Pork’ pies is somewhat cheeky in that it’s leading those who buy it to think they’re getting a similar experience to the pork pie but without the pork – which they won’t.
“If you buy non-alcoholic beer or wine you’d be disappointed if it tasted nothing like wine or beer.
“It’s why we don’t allow vegan cheese to be sold at our Artisan Cheese Fair – it’s not cheese as it isn’t made with milk.”
The Morrisons ‘No Pork’ pies will be baked in-store at other locations around the UK and the supermarket say they will have an authentic taste, with pastry and a look which is similar to traditional Melton pies but without any meat.
They are expected to sell for £1.75 with the option to buy two for £3.