Grocery store Waitrose, based in the UK, has been forced to remove their Easter themed chocolate treat and apologise after customers deemed the trio of chocolate ducks racist as the darkest chocolate duck was named ‘Ugly’ on packaging.
The item in question contained three hollow chocolate ducks; a white chocolate duckling named ‘Fluffy’, a milk chocolate duckling named ‘Crispy’ and a dark chocolate duckling named ‘Ugly’. Unsurprisingly, customers quickly pointed out that naming the darkest duckling ‘Ugly’ had a racist undertone and many couldn’t understand why it was chosen out of so many other options.
Twitter user Livia A. Aliberti was one of the first to post a picture of the trio and she wrote:
“Overheard women saying ‘this is not right’, I agree, doesn’t look good at all.”Twitter/Livia A. Aliberti
In response to the outrage, Waitrose released a statement which they explained the trio had been removed and packaging redesigned to remove the names. They said:
“We are very sorry for any upset caused by the name of this product, it was absolutely not our intention to cause any offense”Waitrose Statement
The intention was actually to reference the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale of ‘The Ugly Duckling’, whereby a duckling turns into a beautiful swan, however the eventual product missed the mark. Some Twitter users were of course on the fence, with a few stating the removal of the product was ‘political correctness gone mad’.
No doubt Waitrose has been taught a huge lesson after this saga in the importance of getting outside opinion following marketing meetings and respecting their diverse target audience.