Waitrose has apologised after shoppers implied it was racist for labelling a dark chocolate Easter duckling “Ugly”.
The figure was part of an £8 trio, with the milk chocolate duckling being called “Crispy” and the white one “Fluffy”.
One user wrote on Twitter: “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?????”
Another wrote: “Shame on @waitrose for questionable marketing practices and reinforcing the ‘ugly black duckling’ narrative. INSIDIOUS casual racism that vilifies dark hues #shame #Waitrose #racism. An expose a lack of diversity among your decision making staff. Stuck in the 60s! @hopenothate.”
However, others accused Waitrose of succumbing to the “political correctness” backlash, with one writing: “@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 Andersen children’s tale ‘The Ugly Duckling’, for fear of causing offence! Shame on you @waitrose!”
Another responded: “Please tell me this didn’t happen, has this country gone mad? Who would see this and think anything other than they named it after the ugly duckling from the story. Come on people!”
Waitrose has now re-released the ducklings in-store and online with redesigned packaging.
A Waitrose spokeswoman 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.”