Vegetarian's shock after Coles' 'disgusting' vegan sausage stuff-up

A vegetarian Coles customer said she was surprised this week when the vegan sausages she ordered in her online shop were substituted for something she didn’t even want coming into her home.

Sydney resident Gabi Jo told Yahoo News Australia she had used the service before and had selected a different brand of vegan sausages.

And like the previous time, she had ticked the ‘out of stock’ option, so if that brand wasn’t available she would be given a different type.

But just before her shop was due to arrive, Ms Jo said she received a notification from Coles informing her The Alternative Meat Company sausages she had ordered were out of stock and they had been substituted for Primo beef and pork sausages.

A Sydney Coles shopper said she ordered The Alternative Meat Co sausages pictured here. But she got pork and beef sausages instead.
The vegan meat sausages Sydney woman Gabi Jo ordered, which never arrived. Source: The Alternative Meat Co.

The Sydney woman said she was so furious when the shopping arrived at her door on Thursday evening, she “gifted the sausages straight to [her] delivery driver as [her] house was meat-free and didn't want to bring them inside”.

“I was like, ‘What the heck are they thinking?’” she told Yahoo News Australia.

“Firstly, I might not be vegetarian. I might be, for cultural reasons, not able to eat pork and they’ve chosen pork out of all options?

“It’s really frustrating because by the time [the delivery] got here I was so angry because I had been excited to cook them for dinner.”

The vegetarian shopper's Coles receipt showing the supermarket had decided to substitute the meat-free sausages with beef and pork ones.
A screenshot of the customer's receipt, showing what she ordered and and what she was given instead. Source: Supplied

Ms Jo said she then called Coles to make an official complaint and the customer services operator was friendly and was similarly perplexed how pork and beef sausages could be sent as an alternative to vegan ones.

She said the Coles employee told her he would pass on her message to the store.

“They looked disgusting,” Ms Jo added.

“There was nothing [on the packaging to suggest] they were anything but pork and beef. Whereas mine, the Alternative Meat Co., were 100 per cent plant-based, 100 percent vegan.”

Ms Jo added she decided to get in touch with Yahoo News Australia after seeing another Coles customer had had a similar experience.

Like Ms Jo, Perth shopper Zoe Callis had ordered vegan meat in an online order and been sent animal meat.

Gabi Jo said her Coles order came with these Primo beef and pork sausages.
Beef and pork sausages which were sent to the vegetarian customer's house instead of the vegan ones she ordered. Source: Coles, file

In Ms Callis’ case, a Coles spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia “we are proud of our expanding range of alternative meat products”.

“In this instance, a suitable alternative was not provided, and we have apologised to the customer and offered her a full refund,” the spokesperson said.

“We are reviewing the processes we have in place for online orders to ensure this does not occur again.”

Yahoo News Australia has contacted Coles in relation to the latest customer complaint.

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