Crisps are banned for ‘offending’ the Welsh
CRISP packets showing “Rhodri the coal miner”, who was “born to swing a pick”, are being axed after complaints they are offensive.
Real Crisps said it is delisting bags of its popular Welsh rarebit-flavoured snacks amid accusations that the miner concept is offensive and the image was “cultural appropriation”.
The row comes despite the fact the crisps have been on the shelves for four years.
The distinct black packets show Rhodri peering from a gloomy mine. A story on the back tells how he was “born to swing a pick” in Rhondda.
Described as a real Welshman it says he was a miner “like his father, his father and his father before him”.
But the packaging has suddenly provoked outrage, with protesters pointing out that there has not been a mine in Rhondda since the 1980s. Others said it ignores the dangers miners once faced.
“No one’s buying nostalgia crisps cause ur grandfather died of pneumoconiosis – sell crisps not bull****,” tweeted Treorchy-based writer Sion Tomos Owen.
Another wrote: “Pretty sure this is the definition of cultural appropriation.” Cardiff-based writer and director Clare Sturges suggested Real “shoot the copywriter and sack the marketing agency for this offensive BS rehash of a tired Welsh stereotype”.
Real Crisps, owned by Ireland’s Tayto, apologised and said the product, part of range of character-driven flavours, was meant to be “tongue-incheek”.
Marketing director Matthew Smith said: “We are sorry for any distress that has been caused by the wording.
“We certainly didn’t mean to be insensitive. This product was launched over four years ago and until now we had not received any feedback.
“However, recent comments pointing out how the story on the packet could be interpreted now seem really obvious but, unfortunately, we didn’t pick this up when we were designing the pack.
“We have taken the comments on board and would like to apologise wholeheartedly. We have also started delisting the product.
“Our customers’ opinions are really important to us and I hope they see we are responding to their feedback.”
BAD TASTE: Welsh writer Sion Tomos Owen has blasted Real Crisps’ pack