Nestle India faces backlash for using Lord Jagannath's picture on KitKat wrapper, issues apology
Many people asserted that such wrappers with images featuring Lord Jagannath and his siblings will later be found in dustbins and on roads as people will discard the wrappers after eating the chocolate
Nestle India has apologised after it faced backlash for putting images of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Mata Subhadra on the wrapper of its product KitKat. Many social media users slammed the company and stated that the controversial wrapper had hurt their sentiments.
The issue began when some users recently posted photos of the new KitKat wrapper on social media. Many people asserted that such wrappers with images featuring Lord Jagannath and his siblings will later be found in dustbins and on roads as people will discard the wrappers after eating the chocolate.
Many individuals were concerned over the design of the wrapper and even urged its withdrawal.
Please remove the Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Mata Subhadra Photos In Your @kitkat Chocolate Cover . When People Are Finished The Chocolate They Are Through The Cover On Road, Drain, Dustbin, Etc . So Please Remove The Photos . @Nestle @NestleIndiaCare #Odisha#JayJagannath pic.twitter.com/9vFy0trazw
— Biswadeep Pradhan (@Biswadeep_bcjd) January 17, 2022
Several people even wrote that while it was an honour to see Odisha represented by the multinational company, this kind of representation was a matter of concern and was an insult to the culture of the state.
It is a honor to see our Odisha culture & lord jagannath, balabhadra & subhadra on ##KitKat but plz think once, whn some1 will eat 🍫 & will throw the wrapper into dustbins, drains, gutters & many will walk on it 😭. Jagannath family will be happy with it. @CMO_Odisha @PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/10xPKsdz5c — Sanjeeb Kumar Shaw (@sanjeebshaw1) January 16, 2022
Many social media users slammed Nestle for hurting the religious sentiments of the Hindu community.
All the multi national companies in india, who have got right to make it "Mazak" of Hindu's Religious Sentiment. Try it on some other religion and see, it would happen!! Like!! what happened...
Ridiculous Mindset😡#nestle #kitkat #nestleindia pic.twitter.com/kSmATUF07u
— Madhu Begali (@madhu_Begali) January 20, 2022
Some people even threatened a boycott campaign of the company’s products if the wrappers were not removed from circulation.
ये #kitkat वालों को भगवान जगन्नाथ का चित्र छापकर क्या साबित करना चाहते हैं वह भी चाय के केटली में, ऐसे ही आस्था का खिलवाड़ करते रहते हैं यह लोग।#boycott_Kitkat pic.twitter.com/UWHvlAVYaP — Murli sahu(MG) (@MurliGurupanch) January 20, 2022
Following the widespread outrage, Nestle India took to social media to issue an apology. The company asserted that it was not its intention to hurt the sentiments of any community. The company also stated that it had launched the Kitkat travel packs to “celebrate beautiful local destinations & last year we wanted to celebrate the culture of Odisha with designs on packs representing 'Pattachitra’, an art form uniquely identifiable by its vivid imagery”.
Hi, Kitkat travel break packs are meant to celebrate beautiful local destinations & last year we wanted to celebrate the culture of Odisha with designs on packs representing 'Pattachitra’, an art form uniquely identifiable by its vivid imagery. (1/3)
— We Care At Nestlé (@NestleIndiaCare) January 20, 2022
The company further added that it regretted if it had inadvertently hurt anyone’s sentiments and also wrote that it had withdrawn the packets from the market.
As pre-emptive action, we had undertaken withdrawal of these packs from the market last year. We thank you for your understanding and support. (3/3) — We Care At Nestlé (@NestleIndiaCare) January 20, 2022
This is not the first time a multinational company has had to withdraw a product due to hurting religious sentiments. According to The Quint, a FIR was registered in Noida against e-commerce giant Amazon in 2019 for allegedly hurting Hindu sentiments after toilet seat covers and rugs with pictures of Hindu gods were available on the company’s US website.
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