After social media users slammed a brand of gummies manufactured by Haribo as “racist,” the company was compelled to stop selling them.
However, despite Haribo’s protestation in defense of the black licorice faces and refuting any negative meaning associated with them, the company surrendered to consumer pressure.
“We decided that we could keep the product while removing the parts that certain customers found offensive,” Ola Dagliden, head of Haribo Sweden, told AFP.
The gummies, according to one Danish Twitter user, Saam Kapadia, reminded him of Denmark’s colonial history.
“Multiculturalism, colonial legacy or the slave trade?” Kapadia wrote. “[The] Haribo Skipper Mix makes me think about Denmark and my Danish heritage.”
The picture of the product was deleted from Haribo’s website. The Skipper Mix sold in Sweden has also removed the black licorice faces from it.
This isn’t the first time a Swedish firm has been targeted by its customers for releasing an incendiary product. In 2013, department store chain Ahlens released a Christmas publication that included two black figures dressed as butlers. Before removing the catalog from the shop, the firm said it had received complaints from both staff and consumers.