afaqs! news bureau

Nestle KitKat draws public ire after Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra seen on the finger chocolate’s wrapper

Social media accuses the brand of hurting religious sentiments; KitKat says it withdrew the packs last year (2021) in a "pre-emptive" move.

Nestle has revealed it withdrew a lot of KitKat chocolate depicting the photographs of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra on its wrappers last year (2021). It made this announcement following social media backlash and accusations of hurting religious sentiments in the past few days.

Twitter users had begun to share images of the KitKat chocolate and criticised the brand. Responding to a user’s tweet, the brand explained the reason behind such a pack and the “pre-emptive action” it had taken in a three tweet thread:

Kitkat travel break packs are meant to celebrate beautiful local destinations. This year we wanted to celebrate the culture of Odisha with designs on packs representing 'Pattachitra’, an art form uniquely identifiable by its vivid imagery.

The visual was inspired by the government tourism website. We wanted to encourage people to know about the art & its artisans. Our past campaigns have also shown that consumers like to collect & keep such beautiful designs.

We do understand the sensitivity of the matter and regret if we have inadvertently hurt people's sentiments. As an pre-emptive action, we had undertaken withdrawal of these packs from the market last year. We thank you for your understanding and support.

In April last year, the brand suffered criticism after it, in a case of factual error, placed the Keibul Lamjao National Park in Meghalaya that is located at Moirang in Manipur. Adding to this was the case of the Red Panda on the pack, a species that is not found in the national park.

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