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Wilko Forced To Apologise For Selling ‘My Outback Is Burning’ Hot Sauce

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 10 Jan 2020 09:53
Wilko Forced To Apologise For Selling 'My Outback Is Burning' Hot SauceWilko Forced To Apologise For Selling 'My Outback Is Burning' Hot SauceKennedy News & Media

Wilko bosses have been forced to apologise for selling hot sauce called ‘My Outback Is Burning’, which appeared to make fun of the current bushfire crisis in Australia.

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Shoppers were left horrified after discovering the bottle of sauce, which was emblazoned with a kangaroo being consumed by flames on the label.

Aircraft engineers Nathan Pritchard and his colleague Neil Thomson slammed the retail giant after one of them spotted the bottle of fiery sauce in a set of eight sauces on Tuesday, January 7.

Wilko Forced To Apologise For Selling 'Outback Is On Fire' Hot SauceWilko Forced To Apologise For Selling 'Outback Is On Fire' Hot SauceKennedy News and Media

The pack, which Nathan had received as a gift, contains eight sauces from different countries and offers ‘flavours from the hottest corners of the globe’ – including Australia.

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Nathan, 29, has now questioned why the product was allowed to stay on shelves while Australia was being devastated by bushfires – and vows not eat the sauce in protest.

Wilko apologised and said they could see how the sauce’s label ‘may cause upset’ and reassured customers that it ‘is no longer on sale’.

Wilko Forced To Apologise For Selling 'Outback Is On Fire' Hot SauceWilko Forced To Apologise For Selling 'Outback Is On Fire' Hot SauceKennedy News and Media

Nathan, from Anglesey, Wales, said:

When I came across the bottle I thought it was distasteful. It’s sad. It’s got a picture of a kangaroo on fire. You’d have thought someone would have noticed it.

It’d been out for a while and on sale for Christmas. It was a Secret Santa [gift].

They had the chance to reflect on it, especially when [the fires] have been burning since September. They obviously have a team who looks at stuff and decides what to put on their shelves for Christmas.

We haven’t opened the bottle. It’s on the shelf – no ones going to open it.

Neil, who works with Nathan, has friends who live in Australia and was ‘shocked’ by the discovery.

Although he at first deemed the bottles as ‘humorous’ with their cartoon characters, his view soon changed when he saw the kangaroo image while Australia was being ravaged by fire.

The animal lover urged Wilko to withdraw the products from the shelves for fear people could be ‘upset’.

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Wilko Forced To Apologise For Selling 'Outback Is On Fire' Hot SauceWilko Forced To Apologise For Selling 'Outback Is On Fire' Hot SauceKennedy News and Media

Neil, from Anglesey, Wales, said:

It was quite shocking to be honest. It’s just a bit weird. I don’t know if these things were manufactured before what’s happened in Australia happened, but it’s something they should have noticed and taken off the shelves.

To begin with, you look at it [as] quite humorous, but then we thought it was shocking. Wilko need to be withdrawing them from the shelves if anything to stop any upset from people who have relatives over there, or are empathetic towards wildfire.

You’re talking [a billion] animals that have died.

I sent it to a friend of mine who lives in Australia and he was quite shocked. We’re just shocked how they could be selling it. We were like ‘oh my god, look at that’. It might just be an overlook but I’m surprised no one else has pointed it out to them.

Wilko Forced To Apologise For Selling 'Outback Is On Fire' Hot SauceWilko Forced To Apologise For Selling 'Outback Is On Fire' Hot SauceKennedy News and Media

A spokesperson from Wilko said:

We sell thousands of gift items over Christmas and select them many months in advance.

We take all customer feedback seriously and we can see how this bottle within the gift pack may cause upset and would like to apologise for any offence caused, that was never our intention.

We would like to reassure customers that this item is no longer on sale.

As a family business, our thoughts are with all the families and wildlife that have been impacted by these devastating fires.

At least 27 people have died in the fires since they began in September, with more than 100 fires continuing to burn across the states of New South Wales and Victoria alone. More than 1,500 homes have been ravaged and more than 3.6 million hectares of land, killing nearly half a billion animals in the process.

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: Food, Australia, Bushfires, Hot Sauce, Kangaroo, Kennedy News and Media, Outback, Wilko, Wilkos