Greggs' social media team have been forced to fend off thousands of comments after it launched a “vegan friendly” version of an old customer favourite – the sausage roll.
Greggs, which sells 1.5 million traditional sausage rolls per week, said the UK’s 3.5 million vegans will be able to enjoy a “next generation” version of its best-selling item.
Opinion on Twitter was divided with some customers expressing their anger at the new addition to the menu.
The response from Greggs was swift.
The vegan version has some “classic features” of the traditional sausage roll, according to Greggs, including 96 layers of puff pastry – but instead of meat the filling is made with Quorn.
Greggs said the launch follows “strong consumer demand”, including a petition by Peta last year signed by more than 20,000 people.
Roger Whiteside, chief executive at Greggs, said: “Like many food retailers we have seen increasing demand for vegetarian and vegan products.
“We have been trying to develop a vegan version of our famous sausage roll for some time now.
“It has not been easy but our taste panel customers all love this one, so we have decided to launch it as our contribution to Veganuary.”
The announcement received a warm welcome from some customers on social media while few questioned whether the name sausage roll was apt given the lack of meat.
Veganuary encourages people to try vegan food for January and across the year.
Recent research from Waitrose found that a third (33.5%) of people now have meat-free or meat-reduced diets.
Many are dipping in and out of being meat eaters, the research found, with half of those who say they are vegan or vegetarian eating meat “at weekends”, “occasionally” or “on special occasions”.
The vegan sausage roll will go on sale from Thursday.