Tesco has come under fire after a tweet showed that £3.75 bottles of Jamaican wine were fixed with security tags.
A picture of Magnum tonic wine, a fortified drink from Jamaica, was posted to Twitter on Friday by Twitter user @dahliamarie_1.
Since it was posted last Friday the tweet has racked up almost 600 retweets and over 4,800 likes.
One user replied: “They’re not even being quiet about the racism kmt [kiss my teeth].”
The post was quote-tweeted by over 250 accounts, with one Twitter user remarking that it “stinks of racism”.
Others remarked that they’ve never seen other drinks, such as Stella, tagged before.
Some people pointed out that tags are often found on items that are frequently stolen, such as alcoholic beverages.
In a statement to indy100, a Tesco spokesperson said: “Our stores may sometimes use security tags on items which have recently been subject to theft.
The spokesperson added: “We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused and our colleagues will be happy to help customers who wish to buy these products.”
Tesco stores can make decisions locally to use security tags on items regularly stolen from that store.
A similar controversy happened in 2017, when Sainsbury’s was accused of racism for putting cans of Jamaican ackee in security boxes.
Ackee, which at the time was priced at £3.80, is a popular Jamaican food. A picture of the ackee was taken by Toby Taylor, who told the Daily Mail that putting it in security boxes is “corporate racism”. At the time, a Sainsbury’s spokesperson told the paper that they make the decision on which products to tag “on an individual store basis to protect high value or frequently stolen items.”
Taylor also replied to the Magnum wine thread and said it is “a massive dog whistle”, and shared an interview he did with the BBC at the time of the ackee controversy.
Others joked about the security tags, saying it won’t stop them from enjoying it while still in the store:
Meanwhile, some questioned who goes to Tesco to buy the drink in the first place, with Twitter user @BrownHoneyLiz tweeting: “shop black, small and local.”