Superfan who tattooed Percy Pig on his leg fears ban over ingredient claims
A superfan is hoping Percy Pig won't be removed from shelves after he tattooed the character onto his leg, claiming he'll have to get a 'RIP Percy' inking if the sweets are pulled as a result of a damning report.
29-year-old Johnny Rhodes from Bristol has been a fan of the M&S favourite for years and hopes the sweets won't be removed from shelves after coming under fire for 'genuinely misleading' ingredient claims in a report on food and healthy eating in the UK.
Johnny told Eamonn and Ruth his love for Percy Pigs grew when his grandma began buying them for him when he was just four-years-old, and his love for the sweets saw the store send him a huge supply after he tattooed the famed pig onto his leg.
Speaking on the moment he got the inking he said: "I had to think about what I should get, and I thought... What do I love? Percy Pigs!
"I then tweeted a picture of my tattoo to M&S and said I was the world's biggest Percy fan...they were kind enough to send me a hamper full of them.'
The National Food Strategy, a government-ordered review led by Leon founder, Henry Dimbley, condemned the store chain for 'false virtue' in the display of their ingredients - which boasts claims such as 'made with real fruit juice' and 'no artifical flavourings'.
However, the first three and therefore largest items on the list of ingredients are glucose syrup, sugar and glucose-fructose syrup, in addition to inverse sugar syrup, which is another mixture of glucose and fructose, made by heating table sugar with water.
During a press breifing, Mr Dimbleby said: "I just think that is not right. I think that is genuinely misleading. And actually, when you look at the food world, the reason I pick M&S is because they have integrity as one of their values, but it is rampant in the food world.
Percy Pigs were used as an example in the National Food Strategy, which also accused the food industry of "clothing itself, and its products in false virtue".
It adds that the M&S' sweets "Can be found near the tills (...) within spontaneous reach of tiny hands."
A spokesperson for M&S said: "All our products have clear labelling so that customers can make informed choices about what they buy. All our Percy Pigs are made with natural fruit juices and no artificial colours or flavourings and last year we also introduced a range of Percy Pigs with one third less sugar."