Generally, it’s viewed as advisable for large companies to steer clear of political and social debates. Given the heated climate surrounding these issues, big businesses generally don’t fare well when they explicitly take one side over the other.
Picking sides tends to generate negative reactions and isolate people who might ordinarily give the company their business.
In spite of this, certain large establishments are opting to make various statements or declare certain positions.
Walmart recently tried this with the release of Juneteeth ice cream; however, the decision backfired profoundly, as documented by Newsmax.
Major Backlash Following Juneteeth Ice Cream
Walmart’s release of Juneteeth ice backfired, due to its flavor of red velvet cheesecake being a match for the same type of ice cream sold by Creamalicious, a black-owned small business.
When Walmart first released this ice cream, it called upon customers to purchase the product as a show of support for the hope and culture of the black community.
*seen on facebook*
If you’re at Walmart and you’re thinking about buying the one on the left. Take a few seconds to look for and buy the one on the right. They are the same flavor except Creamalicious Ice Creams is black owned. pic.twitter.com/hrqb6vhg6h
— Queen Jayyy 👑✨ (@winston00_) May 23, 2022
However, Twitter users did not miss the resemblance between Walmart’s red velvet cheesecake ice cream and that of Creamalicious’.
It didn’t take long for the giant retailer to be accused of ripping off a business and then trying to cover up the rip-off via re-branding.
Walmart’s even been slammed as racist over this latest scandal involving Juneteeth ice cream.
Response From Walmart
Amid a huge public relations nightmare, Walmart quickly pulled the plug on its Juneteeth ice cream altogether.
The retailer put out a statement, noting that in light of “concerned” feedback from customers, the ice cream would be taken off shelves and no longer sold going forward.
Other parts of the statement involved Walmart issuing an apology, along with noting how the situation altogether is being reviewed accordingly.
Critics of the Juneteenth ice cream celebrated the decision of Walmart to remove the product, noting the role that social media played in this.
I should also note, Walmart says it’s pulling the Juneteenth Ice Cream
…we received feedback that a few items caused concern for some of our customers and we sincerely apologize. We are reviewing our assortment and will remove items as appropriate."https://t.co/TSW1yCsh3v https://t.co/T888mThmxq
— Chris Lovingood WRAL (@LovingoodTV) May 24, 2022
There were also folks who called upon consumers who actually do want red velvet cheesecake ice cream to go purchase it from Creamalicious.
Due to the politics associated with Juneteenth, it’s been said that Walmart could have avoided a lot of problems by not even coming forward with this particular ice cream flavor at all.
Nevertheless, Walmart is far from the first company to try its hand at political statements. Even as this blows up in many businesses’ faces, there will likely be others that try to involve themselves in dicey political and social issues in one way or another.
What do you think about the backlash Walmart received after releasing Juneteenth ice cream? Do you believe the company was intentionally trying to rip off a smaller business? We’d like to know your assessment on this in the comments area.