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Skittles Pride Edition Gains Extra Publicity

What’s in this article:

  • Skittles limited edition pride packaging returns for June – but with lots of negative reaction

Come June, you start seeing a lot of rainbow-colored things around for Pride Month. (See Marketing With Pride) When everyone is adopting those colors, Skittles, the product that is normally decked in the rainbow, chooses to distinguish itself by going monochrome with limited edition gray-only candies and packaging.

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Skittles has been available in that special edition since 2016. Their intentions have been misread as far back as 2017 as seen from the collection of social media reactions posts in a Bored Panda article entitled Skittles Releases White Candies For Pride Month, And Internet’s Reaction Is Not What They Expected.

The negative reaction was due to choosing white only, a move some saw as a signal of racist assumptions. However, as the comments on the article and even some of the posts included in the article show, many people did get what Skittles was after in its #onerainbow messaging.

But in 2020, a store display in the UK reinforced that this is about white people, which prompted Snopes to publish Were LGBTQ Skittles Labelled ‘White Pride’?

In 2021, it all centers around the picture in this tweet:

Snopes was compelled to label the claim partially true because the photograph was real. They did add that this part was false: “The ‘Skittles White Pride’ shelf label was the result of an isolated oversight rather than a racially charged corporate expression of white supremacy on the part of SPAR, the supermarket chain, or Mars, which makes Skittles.”

Snopes presented the tweet in which SPAR explained that this happened last year, and they addressed it immediately:

It is understandable that some hapless store employees simply described the product as “white” for its color and “pride” for the occasion. But when some people are already inclined to see the choice of color itself as suggestive of racism, such signage certainly, adds fuel to the fire.

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