back to article Volkswagen to stop making its best-selling product for Wolfsburg workers: VW-branded sausages

German motor manufacturing megalith Volkswagen has been involved in a major collision with public sentiment over the future of its most popular product: its VW-branded currywurst sausage. Volkswagen has been producing the sausage in-house at its Wolfsburg plant since 1973 and in recent years has produced more sausages than …

  1. TeeCee Gold badge
    Facepalm

    Ah, corporate knee-jerk reactionism 101.

    Caught with your fingers in the till by the eco-nazis? Do something meaningless, but unpopular, that allows you to play the ecofiddle card

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      >Caught with your fingers in the till by the eco-nazis

      Not an ideal phrase given that this is the 'strength through joy' car built for noted 1930s German Chaplin impersonator

      1. JohnG

        This is the same CEO who got himself into hot water with "Ebit macht frei”.

      2. Wellyboot Silver badge

        The phrase works for me, said Chaplin impersonator was a veggie.

        I'm quite happy for the veggie crew to opt out of any dietary option they feel like, just don't go around imposing it on others who have different views.

        Today sausage, tomorrow the steak.

        1. Stork Silver badge

          Here we go again: Hitler was not vegetarian. Apparently he quite enjoyed trout.

    2. Warm Braw

      corporate knee-jerk reactionism

      It could almost be an executive Fiat...

    3. Schultz

      Commentard knee-jerk reactionism 101

      Only a proper Commentard will pull out the Nazi card when a canteen decides to adjust the menu.

      With Germany being a liberal market economy, the employees are free to find their favourite nosh elsewhere; maybe at the Other Volkswagen Canteen right across the street.

  2. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    The replacement is Soylent Green.

    Bio-friendly and eternally self-sustaining.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Does that have better emissions than currywurst ?

      1. b0llchit Silver badge
        Pint

        That'll be 50 Wurst per soylent person. At 7 MegaWurst per year that will be 140 kiloSolyentPerson per year. At a C02 average of 4.79 t/capita that will be about 670 Megaton of C02 reduction per year.

        So, yes, the emissions will be good, especially in the long run. In 50 years we'll have just under 0.1% population reduction too. Don't worry, we'll all die a horrible death anyway. Better make it curryWurst delicious and wash it down with a beer.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          >That'll be 50 Wurst per soylent person.

          You haven't seen many southern Germans - or you are planning some serious sized sausages

          1. b0llchit Silver badge
            Joke

            You cannot be implying that the western population will be equated with "soylent people". Of course it will be the skinny ones from other cultures whom we do not know about and exploit in many other ways already. For them a 50 Wurst per soylent person may be too much without getting stringyWurst.

            But, please do not tell anybody that we are about to have chinaWurst. They have been outbidding the local supply for many years and we just go with the flow for optimal profitability.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              But considering green policies and food miles you would need to harvest locals for VW SoylentWurst(tm)

  3. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Coat

    They must prepare for the wurst!

    Sorry, couldn't resist. I'd better be going.

    Mine's the one with the book of bad dad jokes in the pocket

    1. MonkeyNuts.Com

      Re: They must prepare for the wurst!

      Hans, Up! For you the Wurst is nearly over.

  4. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    Alternatively...

    They could just install a defeat device in the nutritional testing machines.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Alternatively...

      Did anyone actually prove the veggie sausages were actually veggie or did they just take VWs word for it...

      1. Nightkiller

        Re: Alternatively...

        Kill All Humans Phase 2:

        Pure Processed Vegetable matter fit for a pig.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Alternatively...

        The software at the VW canteen says they are zero calorie, fat free, 100% RDA of all vitamins and vegan

      3. Clunking Fist

        Re: Alternatively...

        Did anyone actually prove the veggie sausages were actually less carbon intensive or did they just take VWs word for it...

        1. jmch Silver badge

          Re: Alternatively...

          If VW said the sky was blue, I'd look out the window to check.

          Joking aside, I'm not sure specifically about the 'carbon-intensive' part, but meat generally has an order-of-magnitude larger environmental impact than the equivalent calories from vegetables, so they're probably right about that.

          1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

            Re: Alternatively...

            You have to grow the vegetables anyway and then feed them to the meat animal. And there's the question of methane - which BBC World Service Radio covered at length this week. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3ct1hsw

            (One of the contributors is a big producer of methane, which a. is worse than CO2 and b. turns into CO2 anyway.

            So the one thing worse than burning methane, is not burning methane.)

  5. Zarno
    Coat

    Eco friendly

    So, is the replacement an extruded lump of the old eco-friendly wire insulation?

    I will say though, I had some rather good pea protein based brekkie snausage equivalents last year.

    Tasted great (proper seasoning mix), mouthfeel was good, and they browned up nicely.

    Also had relatively good nutritional values.

    They were just blooming expensive, and only went in the cart because there was a BOGOF sale and a close-to-sell-by discount sticker on them.

    I'm all for vegetarian food as an option/experience, there are great dishes out there with amazing flavors, but it should be an option that can be chosen, not the only thing available.

    Mine's the one with a takeaway menu and a wire supplier pamphlet in the pocket.

  6. wolfetone Silver badge
    Coat

    I don't think this decision VW have made will curry any sort of favour for the work force, and they must too prepare for the wurst.

    I'll ketchup on this story in due course I'm sure.

    1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      You'll be engolfed in flames for such puns.

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Have an Up! vote…

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          The upvotes have sent me Lupo.

  7. 45RPM Silver badge

    One day, I expect, this will be a non-news story - but veggie-meat technology has not advanced to that stage yet. I keep giving it a bash, I keep trying the meat free alternative, but it’s always a disappointment - it definitely isn’t ready to fool on a mass market scale yet (I look forward to the day it does).

    I love meat, but (and leaving aside the entirely valid point that we need to reduce meat consumption for the good of the environment) I eat a lot of veg and it’s for the good of my health and to reduce my cholesterol (alas, past middle age, these things become important). Meat for one meal once a week, vegetarian the rest of the time. But I must admit that I’m looking forward to the scientists coming up with a really convincing meat alternative in beef, lamb, pork, chicken etc flavours and textures - so that I can get back to a meaty diet.

    1. Irongut

      So processed food = bad. real food = apparently also bad but you're holding out for fake food created in a lab?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Processed food isn't "bad" because it's processed, but most of of it isn't great for your health because of the preservatives. Generally it's ok in moderation.

        Real meat isn't "bad" because it's real. Consuming loads of real meat increases risk of several health issues. Also, large scale farming has impacts on the environment. Again, it's ok in modetation (on both a micro and macro scale).

        Lab grown meat isn't prevalent enough to pass judgement on yet. If every Impossible Burger required a gallon of oil for raw materials, plus used 15 kWh of energy to produce, and generated a swimming pool full of toxic byproducts while increasing your risk of cancer by 15%, then we're better off with regular meat.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Boffin

          > Processed food isn't "bad" because it's processed, but most of of it isn't great for your health because of the preservatives. Generally it's ok in moderation.

          To quote the late, great Magnus Pyke: "if it's processed it's bad for you; if it's advertised it's positively harmful."

        2. Schultz
          Stop

          "Processed food [...] "bad" [...] for your health because of the preservatives."

          Let me stop you right there. Processed food is not generally bad because of preservatives, but because of:

          - General lack of nutritional value (beyond calories),

          - Generally high in salt, fat, sugar to make up for lack in taste.

          Preservatives make things safe to eat and may actually help preserve some of the nutritional value. See: "Here’s how eating artificial preservatives can affect your health". Vitamin C is maybe the most common preservative, added to pretty much every bit of processed food (it's an anti-oxidant). There are, of course, preservatives that are bad for you, especially in high doses; e.g., there seems to be a consensus that nitrates are bad for you.

          But if you can, try to eat more fresh and local foods and avoid the Volkswagen Currywurst because we know that sausage and fries are bad for you.

          Disclaimer, I am a Chemist and know what I am talking about.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Processed food [...] "bad" [...] for your health because of the preservatives."

            "I am a Chemist and know what I am talking about."

            In that case, you've wandered into this forum by accident. Nobody here knows what they're talking about, myself included.

          2. NXM Silver badge

            Re: "Processed food [...] "bad" [...] for your health because of the preservatives."

            I'll have the man-made chicken.

            You just cut it up like regular chicken.

        3. Clunking Fist

          large scale farming has impacts on the environment

          Thankfully, vegetables don't require farms. Hold on...

      2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
        Meh

        Explain to me how regular sausages are not "processed food."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Explain to me how they are?

          A regular sausage is essentially minced meat with herbs and spices added, then encased in a skin of some sort. The only processing is mincing and mixing. They do not keep for more than a few days without growing fur on them. They're essentially fresh meat with seasoning.

          It's only when you want to store them for 12 months and you have to add nitrites and other chemicals, if you start including 'meat' that is a less than 0.1mm coating on the bones, or if you want to mass market them that the term becomes significant.

          The word 'sausage' is highly misunderstood, particularly when those familiar with Frankfurters in a can conflate them with proper German sausages.

          1. 42656e4d203239 Silver badge

            >>The word 'sausage' is highly misunderstood

            Indeed.

            Back in the day there was a genuine Eurospat about sausage.

            The EU wanted us to stop calling our "mostly rusk"+ "probably meat" encased in "pseudo intestine" a sausage becasue of the lack of actual meat when compared to any other pig intestine encased charcuterie sourced anywhere else in the EU (EEC as it was still back then IIRC). I don't recall what they wanted us to call our abominations (sorry, bangers).

            Maggie, IIRC, put her foot down on that one, so there is confusion about what constitutes a sausage.

            1. Stork Silver badge
              Joke

              Well, if she put her foot down on the sausage I guess it didn't look like a sausage anymore

      3. 45RPM Silver badge

        Who mentioned processed food? Some processed foods are bad, I’m sure - but to discount all of them would mean no more bread, no more… in fact, if there’s a recipe involved in the preparation then it’s processed. I’m sure none of us are that extreme. I’d have to give up curries for a start - and that ain’t happening.

  8. fidodogbreath

    Passatwurst > my B5 Passat-worst.

  9. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Everything has an end

    Alles hat ein Ende nur die Wurst hat zwei.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Everything has an end

      But the idea is to not make both ends meat

      1. Norman Nescio Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Everything has an end

        The workers are probably worried about getting the trots from the change to a vegetable-rich diet. Gustav Mahler wrote some songs about it:

        Das Lief von der Erbse

        Roughly translated: The run caused by peas.

        Ich hole meine Mantel. Tschuss!

  10. MJI Silver badge

    But factory farmed meat

    That should be stopped now, not in 2025.

    Free range sausages please.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: But factory farmed meat

      There are free range boar near VWs plant - but they have a very uncooperative attitude to being turned into sausages.

      1. bofh1961

        Re: But factory farmed meat

        They're not highly radioactive mutant boars though, are they?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: But factory farmed meat

          No merely large Teutonic boars with an attitude problem and unresolved anger management issues (probably just in need of a hug)

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: But factory farmed meat

            But do they taste nice?

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: But factory farmed meat

              Yes. although to hunt them you have to hide up a tree with a large calibre rifle.

              This is:

              A) rather less sporting than chasing after them on a horse while dressed like an idiot.

              B) considerably more likely to lead to the human surviving

              (My German partner's father is the official boar hunter for a small village. He has to 'deal with' any boar that make a nuisance of themselves)

  11. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Joke

    Wurst-prung durch technik

    As they say in the sister company

    1. T S
      Thumb Up

      Re: Wurst-prung durch technik

      highly underrated comment ;-)

  12. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    “good food is important"

    Absolutely. A good steak is very important. Or a juicy sausage with a side of fries.

    I'm pretty sure this measure is not going to go down well.

    1. FozzyBear
      Pint

      Re: “good food is important"

      Of course it's not going to down well. You forgot the ice cold beer

  13. Eclectic Man Silver badge
    Alert

    Otto von Bismarck

    Reputedly said*:

    "The less the people know about how sausages and laws are made, the better they will sleep at night."

    *(I found that I had written his down on a scrap of paper and attributed it to O v B. No idea where or when I heard it.)

    1. Irony Deficient

      Re: Otto von Bismarck

      According to Fred Shapiro in The New York Times Magazine, it started to be attributed to Bismarck in the 1930s, but the earliest known laws-and-sausages aphorism was by the US poet John Godfrey Saxe in 1869:

      Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made.

  14. Nifty

    I used to lunch at the works canteen of a Bavarian company. I asked co-workers why draught beer was available alongside the other beverages. The explanation was that beer was officially classed as a food in Bavaria and it was compulsory for it to be available at company canteens.

    Why is that I suspect Bavarian works canteens no longer serve beer?

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Bad Sausage

      Bavarian Wurst Works

  15. skeptical i
    Pint

    VW = Veggie Weenies?

    Veggie Wurst in German?

    And a cold one to accompany, required side dish.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: VW = Veggie Weenies?

      Veggie ‘wursts’ are naturally server with non-alcoholic ‘beer’.

      Surprisingly tame comments I read here on El Reg on the topic. Resist brothers and sisters, never give up your juicy animal fat laden wursts! Fuck ‘em eco-fascists!

  16. Winkypop Silver badge
    Happy

    Just off to the local VW dealership with that part number

    I suppose they will need to be ordered in.

    1. Clunking Fist

      Re: Just off to the local VW dealership with that part number

      Of course, Hors d'oeuvre which must be obeyed!

    2. Clunking Fist

      Re: Just off to the local VW dealership with that part number

      I say, may I order some of your cracking wursts?

      Nein.

      Golly, I can't eat that many on my own.

  17. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    WWW

    Wolfing down Wursts in Wolfsburg

  18. Boufin

    Mention of LinkedIn and sausages in the same sentence? Was waiting tor the punchline.

  19. Boufin

    I used to have a sausage phobia, but now I only fear the wurst.

  20. lglethal Silver badge
    Coat

    The local government in Wolfsburg has advised its residents to stock up on Sausages and Cheese.

    They call this the Wurst-Kase scenario...

    Stop pushing I'm getting my coat...

    1. LogicGate Silver badge

      That should be Würst Käse Scenario

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Maybe VW doesn't want to be associated with old bangers...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the global meat reduction plan you probably don't know about

    This is quite worrying, for such a large company to begin removing their popular meat from their menu. There is a global push to reduce and remove meat going on and we aren't noticing. We may not have any meat available in 10 years time or at least not real meat that regular people can afford to buy, Look around and see what is happening - factory/lab produced meat (not going in to my body), 'plant based meat' - its not meat its meat flavoured plant/fungus matter. Vegan food is suddenly everywhere and veganism being touted as fantastically healthy which it certainly isn't. (I've no issues with vegans or vegetarians, its a personal choice, I've been both at some point in my life, but lets not pretend its healthy, humans are omnivores, always have been). Watch this space, you will see that more and more is being done to remove meat. Incidently the EU recently declared meal worms as fine for human consumption, think about that whilst you enjoy your tasty factory produced meat.

    1. NXM Silver badge

      Re: the global meat reduction plan you probably don't know about

      A friend of mine and his 13-year old vegetarian daughter recently came to visit. They had to go home early because she'd developed anaemia. Being a veggie isn't without risk.

      Full disclosure: we own a free-range beef farm.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: the global meat reduction plan you probably don't know about

        Vegan or vegetarian?

        Very suspect anecdote if vegetarian. Milk covers anaemia. Eggs most certainly if they are lacto-ovo.

        Certain cultures have been vegetarian for centuries without issue, most of their recipes incorporate butter, cream, yoghurt etc. Yoghurt and fermented foods in particular play an important role.

        If vegan, I can believe your anecdote. Our bodies cannot be sustained on a natural vegan diet without man-made supplementation and food fortification. The vegan diet is also a recent experiment on the human species, similar to keto, low carb, meat only, etc. The long term effects remain unknown. Vegetables alone are not sufficiently nutritionally dense across what the human species requires, and are not in the right proportions for overall health (eg omega6 omega3 ratios)

        Species that are vegan in the real world have very different guts, as well as different intestinal bacteria that compensate for these things. Humans do not have these, cannot sustain such intestinal flora and veganism compensates for this with chemical additives.

        What is true is that modern humans are not eating enough vegetables/eating too much animal products. This is different from the vegan message of not eating meat at all.

        The points about ethics in farming, minimising food waste etc are all valid, I absolutely hate it when American and UK TV shows throw food, especially fish and meat for "fun" and comedy gags, I find it profoundly disrespectful to the animal. It gave up its life to feed us, not to entertain.

    2. jmch Silver badge

      Re: the global meat reduction plan you probably don't know about

      "There is a global push to reduce and remove meat going on and we aren't noticing"

      Not sure who the 'we' are who are not noticing, but yes, there is a global push to reduce meat consumption, and yes, it is totally justified considering that (a) meat farming is terrible for the environment and (b) eating meat in the quantities eaten by Americans (and to a lesser extent, Europeans), is not that healthy.

      "Vegan food is suddenly everywhere and veganism being touted as fantastically healthy which it certainly isn't."

      Veganism is certainly missing some essential amino acids that vegans must derive from other sources, so it's certainly not the healthiest. Similairly, eating 200g+ of meat on a daily basis is not the healthiest.

      "humans are omnivores, always have been"

      From an evolutionary perspective, human bodies are best adapted to mostly plant-based diets with small quantities of meat. Dairy products and grain-based foods have been around long enough (c. 5-8000 years) for some or most humans to be able to consume them without problems, but not that long that all humans can manage them healthily *. A 100 kg -human requires about 80g of protein per day**, some of which is available from plant sources as well. The unused protein is metabolised into carbohydrates and excess stored as fat. Eating too much meat is both wasteful (body does't need it / use it) and harmful (overworks the liver to process the excess protein)

      "Incidently the EU recently declared meal worms as fine for human consumption"

      There's nothing 'wrong' with eating worms, insects etc as protein sourcs except culturally. In the west where mammal meat has long been quite readily available it's become taboo / socially unacceptable to eat insects and worms. In other hunter-gatherer cultures and many parts of the world, it's considered A-OK. When humans were in the hunter-gatherer stage I'm pretty sure worms and insects were readily consumed. Incidentally I find it funny that westerners*** are fine with eating shrimps and other shellfish which are basically the water-based equivalents of bugs. In any case, as long as it's correctly labeled and declared, what's the problem?

      * https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/news/070401_lactose

      ** https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-much-protein-do-you-need-every-day-201506188096

      ** I include myself here, difficult to give up 40+ years of conditioning just because I 'know' there's nothing wrong with eating bugs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: the global meat reduction plan you probably don't know about

        It's interesting bringing evolution and dairy - veganism is entirely a modern diet, depending on the luxury of chemical manufaturing processes, and not having stood the test of time.

        It also presumes that every supplement required has been identified, and concludes there is no non-plant only nutritient.

        This cannot pass any scientifically rigourous method, as we simply do not know that we have identified every nutrient we need.

        Imagine if people tried veganism in the 1800's.. Vitamin B what now?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is actually a money saver, masquerading as a corporate virtue signalling.

    Almost all vegan meat substitutes are hyper processed crap, with salt, flavouring and sugar to make up for the taste. VW can now buy soy flour and pea powder instead of meat.

    I think this is why vegan meat crap is available everywhere - shelf life is longer, the mark-up is *huge* when you consider the ingredients - most of it is priced the same as real meat.

    It is basically the new age version of crisps and cola.

    Just make real food with real vegetables and stop pretending to be meat.

    Besides moves like this cause more harm than good.. the arguments used allow for nutritionally complete swill to be the best food.

    Far better to increase real veg intake, instead of banning meat. Maybe if they stuffed that meat sausage with chickpeas or something (real chickpeas, not textured-malted-defatted-chickpea-protein-isolate-flour that made from factory floor scrapings)

  23. _LC_
    Stop

    It's not true. It's a hoax.

    It is amazing how easily a company that finances the "Deep State" can distract from unpleasant facts. This is a hoax that is going around the world. Yet, it can be immediately dismissed with a single inquiry or a bit of digging.

    No, VW has not abolished its stupid curry sausage:

    https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.automobilwoche.de%2Farticle%2F20210809%2FAGENTURMELDUNGEN%2F308099982%2Fkantine-wird-vegetarisch-vw-verbannt-die-currywurst-aus-der-hochhaus-kantine

    "From the menu of the canteen in the Wolfsburg brand high-rise, however, the classic will soon disappear."

    ...

    "But no one at VW has to renounce the sausage. It will still be available in the canteen a few meters away on the opposite side of the street."

    And there are dozens of other canteens that also sell the junk.

    The “brand high-rise” is occupied by “rather posh people” who simply don't buy that dreaded curry turd. Amazing what you can make out of this little trivia...

  24. big_D Silver badge

    Local news...

    It hit the local news here a couple of weeks back.

    There, they said that it only affected the main (executive, I think) canteen, the other canteens on site would continue to server the original, for the time being at least.

    1. _LC_

      Re: Local news...

      Not "for the time being". The truth is that they didn't order it much in that canteen. Hence, it was discontinued there.

      What they made out of this is amazing. News suck so badly.

  25. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    VW workers protest banner

    Bring Me Wurst - BMW

    (I know, doesn't quite work in German)

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: VW workers protest banner

      Bring mir Wurst

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: VW workers protest banner

        Danke

        Not long to Oktoberfest -->

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stick the current CEO in a dark room for a few days and his leaves will shrivel up and die.

    Seriously, no body with a brain that wasn't based on vegetable matter could come up with a plan like this. Plant workers are blue collar workers. They want stick to the ribs food, not some hoity-toity "vegan alternative" that clearly hasn't taken over on it's own since it was introduced in 2010 and the MEAT is still more popular.

    Will no one think of the people who aren't brainwashed by "the vegan movement"?

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Joke

      VW may go the same way with their metal bodied cars and make their car bodies out of duroplast

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duroplast

  27. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Gross

    Gross.

    I'm all for having more veggies and less meats; but I am not a fan at all of taking vegetables and pretending they're a meat. It just doesn't turn out well*. A vegan bratwurst sounds like about the worst thing I've ever heard of. If they want to cut meat consumption at the plants, I would consider offering a choice of the current currywurst, or a somewhat smaller one with side salad or plenty of toppings to pop on top (do they do that in Germany? We only usually put sauerkraut and possibly onions on a brat here but I could see a variety of nice toppings to put on there.)

    *I tried a sample of one "veggie burger" that was acceptable, but apparently it's got far more unhealthy stuff (fats and sodium and so on) than having a regular greasy hamburger.

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