Walmart Apologizes for Juneteenth Products After Customer Backlash on Social Media

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The retail giant says it will review an assortment of holiday-related products and will ‘remove appropriate items’

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The apology has come after social-media users posted images of Walmart’s Juneteenth products in their stores, including Celebration Edition’s Great Value brand Juneteenth ice cream. Carts of Red Velvet Cheesecake-flavored ice cream featured the red, yellow and green colors of the Pan-African flag and included the words “Share and Celebrate African-American Culture, Liberation and Enduring Hope”. The company has a wide range of products in its stores to celebrate the holidays, including decorations, clothing and books.

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American comedian and “Daily Show” correspondent Roy Wood Jr. tweeted June 19 to stop Walmart from selling certain products, some said. Photos of Juneteenth-themed productsSaying, “Would you like some Juneteenth ice cream on a Juneteenth plate while you sip your beer at the Juneteenth Cozy?”

Others pointed to similarities between Walmart ice cream and a product produced by Black-owned ice cream company Creamalicious.

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“Walmart could have used this opportunity to highlight this brand instead of creating a cheap imitation for our Independence Day,” Tweeted by a user,

Creamylicious, which was started by chef and entrepreneur Liz Rogers, sells several flavors of ice cream at major grocery chains across America, including Walmart and Target Corp.,

According to a company spokesperson, the company has an ice cream flavor called Right As Rain Red Velvet Cheesecake and is not affiliated with Great Value Products.

Juneteenth is a holiday that observes the end of slavery in America and marks the day, June 19, 1865, when news of emancipation reached people in the deepest parts of the former Union in Galveston, Texas. Although the Emancipation Proclamation—an executive order declaring that “all persons held as slaves” would be free—was signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, news spread slowly and often resulted in resistance from plantation owners. faced. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution banning slavery was ratified in December 1865.

In 2021, Juneteenth became the first new federal holiday created by Congress in nearly four decades. The bipartisan law was signed by President Biden on June 17, giving Juneteenth the same status as federal holidays such as Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day.

Celebrated for decades through family gatherings and events such as parades and public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, the holiday has received more national attention in recent years – especially after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery in 2020 After global protests. and Rayshard Brooks, as well as a national conversation to rethink policing in America.

More companies, including Nike Inc., amid calls for racial equity,

Twitter Inc. and Spotify Technology SA,

Went for vacation.

Companies that seek to capitalize on the cultural moment can avoid losses by engaging with consumers and understanding what they consider necessary and valuable, said Myron King, an executive at advertising agency VMLY&R.

Rana Reeves, another marketing executive, said companies should understand that events like Juneteenth and Pride Month are less commemoration for the entire year and more about corporate associates.

“If you want to mark it, you need to mark it through systematic and front-line actions that are measurable benefits to that community,” said Mr. Reeves, founder of cultural communications agency Ranaverse.

,Bodeya Tweh contributed to this article.

Write to Gareth Vipers at [email protected]

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