The Trio of Easter Ducklings were temporarily pulled from shelves while new labelling was put on packaging
Waitrose has apologised over “racist” Easter ducks after customers complained that the dark brown one was labelled as “ugly”.
An £8 trio of white, milk and dark chocolate Easter ducklings caused offence among a “small number” of customers for being labelled as “fluffy”, “crispy” and “ugly”.
The complaints centered around the the dark brown one being described as the “ugly” one, with some implying it was racist.
Following the feedback, the supermarket temporarily withdrew the ducklings from sale while it redesigned the packaging to remove the labels. The redesigned packs are now back on sale in stores and online.
The names are likely to have been inspired by the song “the ugly duckling”, from the literary fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen, later adapted by Disney.
The song is about a small, brown ugly duckling who is mocked and excluded by the other ducklings. Later he discovers he is not a duck when he sheds his brown feathers and grows into a beautiful white swan.
The lyrics go: “There once was an ugly duckling, with feathers all stubby and brown, and the other birds said in so many words, get out of town.”
A Waitrose spokesman 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.”