Woolworths rejects claims of 'disgusting' Anzac biscuit move

Woolworths has rejected claims it has changed the name of Anzac biscuits following outrage on social media following a recent recipe appearing in one of its catalogues.

Several posts across Facebook and Twitter suggested the supermarket giant had ditched the word Anzac from its biscuits, with customers accusing Woolworths of succumbing to "cancel culture".

In a recent catalogue in the build up to Anzac Day, the supermarket featured a recipe for Golden Oat Biscuits, strikingly similar to Anzac biscuits.

The Golden Oat Biscuits recipe as featured in the online version of the Woolworths catalogue.
The Golden Oat Biscuits featured in the catalogue in the build up to Anzac Day. Source: Woolworths

"Woolworths in their woke wisdom has changed the name of Anzac biscuits calling them golden oats because it may insult some people," one person claimed.

Another shopper claimed not calling the biscuits Anzac biscuits was "disgusting and a slap in the face for our Anzacs". They vowed never to shop at the supermarket again.

Woolworths clarifies recipe's name

However a spokesperson for the supermarket told Yahoo News Australia the biscuits were not called Anzac Day biscuits to respect the strict guidelines issued by the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

"The Department of Veterans' Affairs has strict regulations around the word Anzac and how it can be used on products or in marketing," they said.

“We didn’t have the relevant approvals to use the term for this particular recipe placement in the catalogue and wanted to ensure we respected the regulations."

Companies must seek approval from the department before using the word Anzac in products, a step Woolworths did not pursue in this particular incident.

A Woolworths sign is pictured.
Woolworths did not apply to the department to be able to call the Golden Oat Biscuits Anzac biscuits. Source: AAP

The Golden Oat Biscuits recipe has featured in previous catalogues, Yahoo News Australia understands.

The spokesperson reiterated Anzac biscuits, which had been approved for sale, were still available to purchase in store, and sales helped raise funds for veterans and their families.

A Department of Veterans' Affairs spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia while it could not comment on whether recipes would or would not be approved, the department "takes seriously its role protecting this part of Australia’s history".

"Many variations to the recipe exist and DVA does not mandate an ‘official’ Anzac biscuit recipe, rather a generally accepted recipe," they said.

According to a recipe published by the department in 2014, its ingredients are the same as featured in the Woolworths recipe, however with varying measures.

"The use of the word ‘Anzac’ in the commercial production and sale of Anzac biscuits is usually approved, however the biscuits must not substantially deviate from the generally accepted recipe and shape, and must be referred to as 'Anzac Biscuits," department guidelines state.

The biscuits must not be called cookies and must avoid any additions such as chocolate chips.

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