Company Pulls Chocolate Ducks Over Complaints of Racism

A U.K. grocery store chain reportedly pulled packages of Easter chocolate ducklings after some complained it was "racist" for labeling the darkest chocolate duck "ugly."

The Waitrose Trio of Easter Ducklings, sold at Waitrose stores, included a milk chocolate duck labeled "Fluffy," a white chocolate duck named "Crispy" and a dark chocolate duck labeled "Ugly."

On March 7, Twitter user Livia Albierti asked why the major supermarket chain would sell something with these labels.

ugly ducklnigs
(Photo: livia_aliberti/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]?????" she wrote, reports The New York Daily News.

Some Twitter users pointed out that the label was a reference to the fairy tale The Ugly Duckling, which has a happy ending. In the story, a duckling was made fun of for being different, but later realizes he is a beautiful swan and not a duck at all.

Still, Waitrose & Partners sent a statement to CNN, apologizing for any offense the package may have caused and said it will be pulled from store shelves. A new version without the label is already in stores, the company 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," the statement reads. "We removed the product from sale several weeks ago while we changed the labeling and our ducklings are now back on sale."

Alberti later thanked the company for the changes, writing, "change happens when something is brought out into the open and discussed."

On Twitter, there were many who thought the incident trivialized racism and wondered why someone saw race when they looked at the chocolates.

"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!" one person wrote.

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"I'm totally against racism but this is NOT racist esp. as in the orig story the Ugly duckling grows up to be the most beautiful of them all! The racists are not Waitrose or those using the trad labels of white, milk & dark choc, but those looking for racism where there isn't any," another added.

"Good God there are some pathetic people around and they appear to be increasing," another wrote. "And didn't the ugly duckling turn into a swan!"