I wrote to Wegmans regarding one of their veggie burgers that contained Animal Rennet (the only cost effective way in which to make aninmal rennet requires slaughtering the animal).

They admitted their veggie burger contained animal rennet but said:

"In regard to your comments about Lacto-Ovo vegetarians, some will eat animal-sourced rennet and some will not."

This is not true, and I explained to them it is not true, pointing out that the definition of an Ovo-Lacto vegetarian is:

"An Lacto-ovo-vegetarian (or Ovo-lacto-vegetarian) is a vegetarian who does not eat animal flesh of any kind, but is willing to consume dairy and egg products."

animal rennet is made by:

"Dried and cleaned stomachs of young calves are sliced into small pieces and then put into saltwater or whey, together with some vinegar or wine to lower the pH of the solution..."

So after explaining this to them I asked that they reevaluate what they consider to be ovo-lacto vegetarians. They have instead chosen to stand by their false statement and refused to make any further comment.

They have lost me as a customer and hopefully many other vegetarians.

How can we trust their products if they do not understand vegetarian needs, and when faced with facvts, choose to ignore them.

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Cherry Hill, New Jersey, United States #1328684

Wegman has made (to way around a problem ) the old fashion way take the 5th ammentment.till they change the way they think , personally you should avoid this shops that make their own brand with less information about the product they sell. If you can go to another shops to spend your hard earn money pay a little more for a little less ,than they will learn to inform .consumers about their own brand. Veg sign will be help full .

Pinehurst, North Carolina, United States #920728

Watch out for their tofu dishes, too. One I saw near Montgomery Village actually contained chicken stock.

The certainly are not vegetarian friendly.

Beware. Read the labels.


It is disappointing to see the response you received for VRG. There are several people who call themselves vegetarians and eat fish.

That doesn't make fish vegetarian. Whether someone wants to go that strict or not is a personal choice. However, using that as definition of vegetarianism/veganism is not correct.

I admire ur actions and this is the only grocery store I been to where almost all cheeses say what sort of enzymes are used.

My only complaint is that u don't use non-animal rennet cheeses for the dishes u prepare in cafeteria section. That is disappointing and unfortunately i have stopped eating at ur cafeteria. I even requested the "chefs" to consider it and it was almost ridiculed. It would have been a big deal if Wegmans wasn't selling wegmans' brand microbial rennet cheeses like literally one block away in the store itself.

However, it is ur call. As long as things are properly labelled, u r doing good.

Rockwell City, Iowa, United States #340429

Wegmans consumer affairs department has had several communications with this customer, via Twitter, and shared our appreciation of him bringing this matter to our attention. The product label does not describe this product as “Vegetarian” or “Vegan.” Our long-held definition is that “Veggie” whether describing a burger, pizza or lasagna, simply means that the product contains vegetables. However, the ingredients in this particular veggie burger also include traditional Italian cheeses that have been made the same way for centuries – with animal-based rennet. Our corporate nutritionist contacted the Vegetarian Resource Group, a group that has a record of considering the issue of animal-based rennet. She was told by VRG that the issue of animal-based rennet is an important issue for some, but certainly not all, vegetarians who eat cheese as well as eggs - also referred to as lacto-ovo vegetarians. We realize our customer does not agree with this statement.

Because of this complaint, we contacted the national dairy industry to see how prevalent the use of animal based rennet is in cheese making. They did not have exact data, but believed that microbial-based rennet is now the primary form of rennet used in cheeses produced in the country. However, imported cheeses as well as some organic cheeses continue to use animal-based rennet.

We believe that our product is correctly labeled. We also believe that adding information to the ingredient statement on the source of the rennet would be helpful. That’s why we’ve asked Wegmans product labeling team to consider a new strategy to add that information. Furthermore, the supplier is considering use of other cheeses in this product. However, we are not able to promise if or when these changes will take place. We provide extensive information on our web site about vegetarian and vegan diets and our own labeling practices.

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