In a letter to the supermarket Dipen Rajyaguru, Director for Equality & Human Rights for the HCUK stated: “Sainsbury’s is being extremely insensitive and very ignorant in your ‘Diwali promotions’ through promoting Beef Gelatine produce (Haribo sweets) as part of the celebrations. Beef consumption is strictly prohibited in Hinduism just as Pork is prohibited in Judaism and Islam. In addition, it is obvious that that by labelling them as ‘halal’ (Islamic food standard) that it may not be suitable for Hindu’s and certainly not specific to Hindu belief.”
In response to the HCUK’s complaint James Bailey, Director of Packaged Food at Sainsbury’s wrote: “We run a Diwali promotion every year, designed to showcase the products we sell to help customers celebrate this important festival. On this occasion we got it wrong on two counts – by highlighting sweets for Diwali that contain beef gelatine, and then again by promoting them as Halal. All this promotional material has been removed from display in our stores and will be deleted from our website overnight.