British grocery chain Waitrose apologized this week for a product description on one of its packaged Easter chocolates that some people deemed racially insensitive.
The "Waitrose Trio of Easter Ducklings" is composed of milk-, white- and dark-chocolate ducklings that were labeled "Fluffy," "Crispy" and "Ugly," respectively,
A Twitter user questioned why Waitrose, a major supermarket chain, had chosen to label the darkest duckling "Ugly."
"Overheard women saying 'this is not right,'" the woman wrote on Twitter last month. "I agree, doesn’t look good at all. Thousands of other options..."
Some others on Twitter agreed, with one saying the company should have anticipated it would receive backlash: "Surely Waitrose knew that people would be offended by this?"
Waitrose apologized for the product description in a statement this week and said it had temporarily pulled the duckling product to redesign the package label.
"We are very sorry for any upset caused by the name of this product, it was absolutely not our intention to cause any offence," the company said in the statement. "We removed the product from sale several weeks ago while we changed the labeling and our ducklings are now back on sale."
The woman who raised the concerns on Twitter thanked the company for the modifications, saying "change happens when something is brought out into the open and discussed."
But not everyone shared her view. Some on social media said the incident was trivializing racism.
"It’s a serious social issue and you’re worried about an unintentional message on a candy box that wasn’t directly made to be racist," one man said.
Others speculated that the labeling of the chocolates was likely inspired by the fairytale "The Ugly Duckling" and not intended to be racist.