Countdown has issued an apology after the supermarket mistakenly advertised non-vegan products as vegan in their national weekly mailer last week.
A sign found in the Johnsonville Countdown was posted on a local community page Vic Deal.
In it, Countdown admitted they incorrectly featured two products in their vegan ideas campaign in their Monday November 18 to Sunday November 24 weekly catalogue.
"Attention customers," it reads. "In our Weekly Specials Mailer this week we have advertised the following products within our vegan ideas campaign:
"Olivani Butter Spread 375g, Weis Passionfruit & Coconut Ice Cream 4 pack
"Unfortunately these variants are NOT vegan. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause."
In a statement to the Herald, a Countdown spokesperson confirmed the mailer mistake.
"Unfortunately there was an error in the recent mailer with two products mistakenly labelled as vegan.
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"We wanted to be upfront about our mistake in stores to let our customers know, and we've also reviewed our processes to make sure this doesn't happen again.
"At Countdown, we're committed to helping our customers choose more vegan products and sincerely apologise to customers for this mistake."
A spokesperson from the Vegan Society of New Zealand told the Herald that though they feel like Countdown had no intention to mislead customers, they still have a duty to advertise correctly.
"Obviously when you are organising your nationwide company mailout, you really need to make sure that such things don't slip through.
"It was more of a case of Countdown trying to be helpful, but failing to carry that through to ensure their information was accurate.
"However, that said most vegans would read the labels first, but many would have assumed that Countdown had done their research properly and certainly many people, vegan or not, would take such a mailout at face value.
They added that it is always deeply distressing for a vegan to find out they have accidentally consumed an animal product and that mistakes like these are dangerous for those who have allergies.
"Most of Olivani's other products are vegan, so I can understand that such mistakes occur ... Again the coconut ice cream you would think was vegan. Certainly many vegans who don't avidly label read are caught out in such things.
"Some people have allergies and thus could become sick if consuming something they were told was dairy and egg-free when it wasn't.
"So certainly there are potentially dire repercussions from such things."
However, the spokesperson wanted to point out that they are "delighted" that Countdown and other supermarkets are taking the time to promote vegan options in their stores.
They also recommended vegans to thoroughly read labels before using any products to avoid any issues.