Skittles, the popular candy with the well-known slogan “Taste the rainbow,” is receiving criticism from consumers over its latest packaging featuring the phrase “Black Trans Lives Matter.” This move has sparked calls for a boycott, as some consumers believe the company is overly politically correct in its support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Under the Wrigley Company division of Mars, Inc., Skittles has launched a campaign called “SKITTLES Pride” on its website. The campaign aims to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community by stating, “We’ve given up our rainbow so that the LGBTQ+ community can share theirs.” It features designs from five artists on Skittles Pride Packs, each representing a unique story within the LGBTQ+ community.
The new candy wrappers, created in collaboration with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, celebrate pride and diversity. One design depicts a sun and moon walking on a rainbow while holding hands, another showcases the word “PRIDE” in various colors, along with LGBTQ+ labels. However, one design that has garnered attention features kids on skateboards with phrases like “skate & live,” “joy is resistance,” and “black trans lives matter.”
Critics argue that the inclusion of phrases like “black trans lives matter” on candy packaging is aimed at children and is an attempt to convey social and political messages to a younger audience. As a response, some online users are calling for a boycott of Skittles products.
While there is backlash, some observers find irony in Skittles’ long-standing “Taste the rainbow” slogan. This situation draws parallels to a previous controversy involving Bud Light beer, which faced criticism and a decline in sales after collaborating with a trans activist for a marketing campaign.
Mars, Inc., the parent company of Skittles, has not yet released a statement addressing the current situation. The debate continues over whether this approach will have a negative impact on Skittles’ brand perception and sales, similar to what happened to Bud Light in a similar context.