Walmart Pulls Juneteenth Themed Ice Cream From Its Shelves After Facing Backlash On Social Media
Photo Credit: Tim Boyle

Walmart Pulls Juneteenth Themed Ice Cream From Its Shelves After Facing Backlash On Social Media

“Capitalists are gonna capitalize.”

Following social media backlash, which included the aforementioned comment, Walmart has removed a red velvet and cheesecake ice cream from its shelves that was meant to celebrate the upcoming Juneteenth holiday.

Controversy Surrounding Walmart's Juneteenth Ice Cream

In 2021, President Joe Biden signed a bill for Juneteenth to become a federal holiday. While the new law sparked major companies to become more aware, Walmart’s recent actions exhibited the fine lines between appreciation and appropriation.

According to images shared on social media, the ice cream container sported pan African colors despite the Juneteeth flag being red, white, and blue. The container also had an image of Black hands doing a high five gesture and a label that read “Share and celebrate African-American culture, emancipation and enduring hope.”

Users Point Out Ice Cream Rips Off Popular Black-Owned Brand Creamalicious

While Walmart’s goal was to share and celebrate “enduring hope,” users, however, insinuated that there’s no hope and had a lot to say about Walmart’s questionable product launch.

“Walmart backed Juneteenth ice cream is in the same vein as what’s happened to BLM, and Pride, and Anti Work. As our ideas become more “mainstream” we have to think of how to protect them from being recuperated and de-radicalized,” one Twitter user wrote.

“In celebration of Juneteenth how about Walmart pays their employees a living wage which will especially help Black employees whose demographic has been systemically denied from creating generational wealth & positive net worths,” Anthony V Clark wrote on Twitter.

Other users added the ice cream closely resembled popular Black-owned ice cream company Creamalicious, founded by Cincinnati-based chef Liz Rogers.

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

Walmart Issues Statement Following Controversy

In response to the controversy, Walmart has since issued a statement.

“Juneteenth holiday marks a celebration of freedom and independence,” Walmart said in a statement to FOX television, according to Business Insider. “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.”