Waitrose has apologised after customers accused the supermarket giant of being racist by labelling a dark chocolate duckling ‘ugly’.
The supermarket chain pulled a trio of chocolate ducklings from its shelves in which the white chocolate was labelled ‘fluffy’, the milk chocolate ‘crispy’ and the dark chocolate ‘ugly.’
Some customers took to Twitter to share a picture of the £8 Easter chocolate treat, saying it was racist.
One user wrote: “Crispy, Fluffy and Ugly – trio of Easter ducklings at #Waitrose. Ugly is the dark one on the right. Overheard women saying “this is not right”, I agree, doesn’t look good at all. Thousands of other options… why #ugly?????”
However others did not agree and accused Waitrose of succumbing to the "political correctness" backlash.
Another user wrote: “@waitrose succumb to barmy political correctness sweeping UK - they’ve taken Easter chocolate ducks off shelves because one of set of 3 is called ‘Ugly’ from classic Hans Christian Anderson children’s tale ‘The Ugly Duckling’, for fear of causing offence! Shame on you @waitrose!”
Waitrose pulled the product from its shelves and redesigned the packaging, with the names of the ducklings removed.
A Waitrose spokesperson said: “We are very sorry for any upset caused by the name of this product, it was absolutely not our intention to cause any offence.
“We removed the product from sale several weeks ago while we changed the labelling and our ducklings are now back on sale."
It is understood the names were inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s ‘The Ugly Duckling’.
The literary tale tells the story of a brown duckling which is mocked and excluded by the other ducklings.