Walmart Apologizes for Releasing Juneteenth-Themed Ice Cream and Pulls the Pints from Stores

·2 min read
Walmart pulls Juneteenth ice cream and apologizes after backlash on social media. @roywoodjr Roy Wood. Jr.
Walmart pulls Juneteenth ice cream and apologizes after backlash on social media. @roywoodjr Roy Wood. Jr.

Roy Wood. Jr./ Twitter

Walmart is facing backlash after releasing a Juneteenth-themed product that features swirled red velvet and cheesecake flavored ice cream.

Social media users accused Walmart of using their Great Value ice cream brand as a way to profit off the holiday, which commemorates the end of slavery.

The label on the ice cream container reads, "Share and celebrate African-American culture, emancipation and enduring hope."

One Twitter user pointed out that a similar ice cream flavor by a Black-owned business already exists.

"Walmart literally saw a successful small Black business and thought they could get away with stealing their flavor and re-branding it for Juneteenth," @Amberisms_ wrote on Twitter. "Anyways, Creamalicious is available at Target."

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Another Twitter user, Vivian Kaye responded to that post, saying, "Walmart could've supported Black owner brands and put them on their shelves. Instead, they chose to Great Value and trademark Black emancipation," she wrote.

In response to the backlash, Walmart issued an apology. The company shared their official statement with PEOPLE: "Juneteenth holiday marks a commemoration and celebration of freedom and independence. However, we received feedback that a few items caused concern for some of our customers and we sincerely apologize. We are reviewing our assortment and will remove items as appropriate."

The major retailer has since pulled the ice cream off store shelves.

Since the Juneteenth-themed ice cream release, photos of the company's Pride ice cream — in recognition of Gay Pride Month — have also circulated around social media. Twitter user Darius Jones criticized the company for the "horribly marketed and branded ice cream versions."

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