Mamba Fruit Chews—a longtime vegan-friendly candy—will soon be replaced with a new formula that contains gelatin. Produced by company August Storck KG, the candy brand’s newest varieties (Mamba Fruit Twists and Mamba Sour Twists) already contain the animal-derived ingredient while the classic Mamba Fruit Chews stick will be replaced with a gelatin-based variety in early 2020. “It’s been a while since we’ve had a new Mamba creation to offer our fans who love its chewy, fruity taste,” the company explained the change on its website. “We review the recipes of our products on a regular basis and adjust them if required or even if we think that an adjustment leads to an overall improvement of the product. Moving Mamba to a new manufacturing facility allows us to test and develop new shapes of fruit chews to provide more exciting ways for consumers to enjoy Mamba.” The company explained that it added gelatin to improve the candy’s “chewing intensity” and “eating experience,” stating, “We’re excited about our new products—Mamba Fruit Twists and Mamba Sour Twists—and we think our consumers will love them, too.”  

Former Mamba customers took to the company’s Facebook page to express their disappointment in the reformulation. “A lot of companies are moving forward in eliminating the usage of animals and creating cruelty-free items and you are adding it to yours? Such a sad and unnecessary step backward,” one commenter said. Others expressed disgust with including boiled animal cartilage, bones, and skin in Mamba’s candy, with one stating, “Gelatin is so gross! It’s not even vegetarian. Nobody wants animal body parts in their candy! I hope you reconsider.”