Chocolate lovers have slammed Kinder Surprise after finding an “offensive toy” inside their eggs.
A number of people have posted pictures of the plastic toy on Facebook that show a white egg holding three blue balloons with the letters “KKK”.
“Look what my niece (of mixed race) just found in her Kinder Surprise – KKK … what on earth Kinder?” one woman wrote on Facebook.
Another said: “Ku Klux Klan: Kinder Surprise edition.”
One outraged customer questioned who thought it was a good idea to make the toy.
The Ku Klux Klan, known as the KKK, is an American hate group that supports white supremacy, white nationalism and anti-immigration.
Kinder Surprise apologised, saying it did not intend to offend anybody.
“We sincerely apologise for any offence caused due to the inference of how the three Ks read together on this toy,” a spokeswoman told Yahoo News.
“To offer some explanation of how this toy came to be, initially it was designed with one balloon with a ‘K’ on it. However, two more were added to provide a more robust structure, as the safety and quality of our toys is of the utmost importance.
“We had absolutely no intention to make associations with the Ku Klux Klan and we truly apologise to our consumers for any unintentional offence caused. We do not support this organisation in any way. The K on the balloons was solely meant to represent Kinder.”
Kinder Surprise said the toy was part of a limited edition for its 50th birthday and has been discontinued.
“Stock from this toy range has also been withheld from the market and destroyed. Rest assured, we are revisiting our internal processes to ensure something like this cannot happen again,” the spokeswoman said.
“It was never intended for this toy to be offensive, and we would like to extend our sincerest apologies again. In addition, any consumer who has received the toy in question can contact our consumer services to arrange a replacement, if they wish.”