Crisps withdrawn from sale over claims they offend people from Wales

Crisp packets featuring a caricature of "Rhodri the coal miner" have been axed following complaints they were offensive.

REAL Crisps introduced the Welsh rarebit-flavoured snacks some four years ago and used the image as "cultural appropriation".

But the black packets have suddenly sparked outrage, with protesters pointing out that there has not been a mine in Rhondda, south Wales, since the 1980s.

Others are fed up the company has persisted with a "rehash of a tired Welsh stereotype".

"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".

But the packaging, which depicts Rhodri peering out a gloomy pit, features a story on how the miner was "born to swing a pick" in the Rhondda Valley, famed as a significant coal mining valley.

REAL Crisps, owned by Ireland’s Tayto, apologised and said the product, part of range of character-driven flavours, was meant to be "tongue-in-cheek".

"We are sorry for any distress that has been caused by the wording.

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"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," said Matthew Smith, marketing director.

He added: "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."

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