Nestle India became the cynosure of criticism on social media over the wrapper design of its chocolate bar. Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra were featured on the KitKat wrapper, and this promotional gimmick by the Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) firm did not go well with some netizens and sparked outrage on social media. People flocked to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction with the development stating that it hurts religious sentiments.
Expressing his reaction over the said wrapper, one of the users wrote, "Please remove the Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Mata Subhadra Photos from your @kitkat Chocolate wrapper. After eating the chocolate people tend to throw the wrapper on the road, drains, dustbins, etc., so please remove the images." "It is an honour to see our Odisha culture & lord Jagannath, Bala Bhadra & Subhadra on ##KitKat but plz think once when someone will eat the chocolate & throw the wrapper into dustbins, drains, gutters & many will walk on it. Jagannath family will be happy with it?" asked another user.
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
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
Following the backlash on social media, the company issued an apology and stated that they had no intention to offend religious ideas or sentiments. Nestle India introduced the product with the packaging last year, and it was recalled soon after. "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 [sic],'' the company wrote on Twitter. It stated that the visual was inspired by the government tourism website. The company wanted to raise awareness about the art and its artisans. Consumers like to collect and maintain such amazing designs, as evidenced by the company's previous campaigns, the firm clarified.
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 18, 2022
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. (2/3)— We Care At Nestlé (@NestleIndiaCare) January 18, 2022
We do understand the sensitivity of the matter and regret if we have inadvertently hurt anyone’s sentiment. With immediate action we had already initiated withdrawal of these packs from the market. We thank you for your understanding and support. (3/3)— We Care At Nestlé (@NestleIndiaCare) January 18, 2022
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