Porvoo confectionery manufacturer Brunberg is changing the packaging on its chocolate Kisses product, to remove a cartoon drawing of an African couple that’s been called offensive, stereotypical and racist.
The couple are scantily-clad with enlarged bright red lips, an image which evokes colonial tropes of how Africans were once widely regarded in Europe.
By summer, the chocolate-covered marshmallow treats will instead be sold in the same style of box but with a drawing that depicts Porvoo Old Town in the 1950s.
“The box has something new, something old and reflects the brand’s identity: respect for traditions, Porvoo as the company’s hometown and good taste memories” says Brunberg CEO Katarina Enholm in a statement.
The Kisses product has been on the market since 1951 and for decades was known as ‘Negro’s Kisses’. This was changed in 2001 to simply ‘Brunberg’s Kisses’ but the depiction of the African couple on the box has lingered until now.
Brunberg says it’s in the process of refreshing all of its packaging, one product at a time, ahead of the company’s 150th anniversary next year.
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