Haribo, a candy company, was forced to stop selling a brand of gummies after social media users criticized the snack as “racist.”
Although Haribo released a statement defending the black liquorice faces and denying any negative connotation associated with them, the company gave in to customer criticism.
“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.
One Danish Twitter user, Saam Kapadia, argued that the gummies reminded him of Denmark’s colonial past.
“Multiculturalism, colonial legacy or the slave trade?” Kapadia wrote. “[The] Haribo Skipper Mix makes me think about Denmark and my Danish heritage.”
On Friday, a picture of the product was removed from Haribo’s website. The black liquorice faces have has also been removed from the Skipper Mix sold in Sweden.
This isn’t the first time a Swedish company has been under attack by its customers for presenting a controversial product. In 2013, department store chain Ahlens produced a Christmas catalogue including two black figures dressed as butlers. The company reported that it had received complaints from both employees and customers before removing the catalogue from the store.