Nestle India, in 2021, revamped the wrapper of their product Kitkat and added images of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Mata Subhadra on it. However, it is just recently that the Kitkat wrapper (with picture of Lord Jagannath) came into the limelight, with the company facing backlash on social media. A section of the people took to Twitter to complain against the revamped Kitkat wrapper and stated that this action hurts religious sentiment. According to a Twitter user, people dispose the wrapper after they are done with eating, that is why having pictures of Gods and Goddesses on it would mean demeaning them. Let's take a look at the tweet:
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#JayJagannathpic.twitter.com/9vFy0trazw— Biswadeep Pradhan (@Biswadeep_bcjd) January 17, 2022
Another Twitter reiterated the thoughts and added "Kindly remove the pictures...they might even get stepped on unintentionally."
Dear @KITKAT@Nestle Kindly remove the pictures of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra from Kitkat wrappers as they would ultimately end up in dustbins, drains and on streets . They might even get stepped on unintentionally. This hurts our religious sentiments . pic.twitter.com/dJo25bAnaK— Mahaprasad Mishra (@MP_Mishra1) January 14, 2022
A third Twitter user commented that it is indeed an honour to have "Odisha culture and Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra on Kitkat, but throwing the wrappers in dustbin or stepping on them accidentally would be an insult to the deities."
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@PMOIndiapic.twitter.com/10xPKsdz5c— Sanjeeb Kumar Shaw (@sanjeebshaw1) January 16, 2022
Nestle India was prompt enough to take an action and clarified that they had "already withdrawn" the packs (of Kitkat with Lord Jagannath on wrapper) from the market. The company also expressed their regret and said that was a pre-emptive action. They mentioned, the packs were removed from the market last year itself.
According to a PTI report, a Nestle spokesperson said, "We do understand the sensitivity of the matter and regret if we have inadvertently hurt anyone's sentiment. We had already withdrawn these packs from the market last year. We thank you for your understanding and support."
The company also took to Twitter to release a statement and clarified their thoughts behind having the pictures of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Mata Subhadra on Kitkat wrapper.
The statement read, "Hi, Kitkat travel break packs are meant to celebrate beautiful local destinations and 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. We wanted to encourage people to know about the art and its artisans. We do understand the sensitivity of the matter and regret if we have inadvertently hurt people's sentiments."
Nestle India concluded by stating, "As pre-emptive action, we had undertaken withdrawal of these packs from the market last year. We thank you for your understanding and support."