Kroger Is Under Fire for "Offensive" In-Store Display
Customers said that a celebration of Black History Month actually promotes stereotypes.
February marks Black History Month, established in 1976 as an "annual celebration of achievements by African Americans." Events throughout the month honor Black Americans, hosted by national institutions like the Library of Congress and the National Park Service. On a smaller scale, local communities and individuals do their part—but shoppers at one Kroger say their grocery store missed the mark. Read on to find out why they found the store's Black History Month display "offensive."
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The arrangement featured Snoop Dogg's wine.
A Kroger in Peachtree City, Georgia, likely had good intentions in recognizing Black History Month with an in-store display. According to WSB-TV, the grocery store was showcasing Snoop Dogg's red wine blend, which he launched with the brand 19 Crimes in 2020.
Next to the wine selection, a blackboard read "Celebrating Black History Month," with phrases such as "Dream Like Martin" and "Say It Loud I'm Black And I'm Proud" written inside and around a clenched fist.
"Proud of drinking wine? No, we're proud of the Tuskegee Airmen whose shoulders I stand on," Johnnie Jones, former Fayette County NAACP president and retired commercial and military pilot, told the outlet. Jones was referencing the first Black airmen who fought during World War II.
Jones said that he found the display "offensive," much like his fellow customer Michael Drummond. "They're really promoting alcohol, and then it says 19 Crimes," Drummond told WSB-TV. "That's negative."
Customers said the store could have approached Black History Month differently.
In response to complaints, the Peachtree City Kroger took the display down, WSB-TV reported. Jones stated that there are more appropriate ways to honor the Black community, namely by featuring historical Black figures.
"Hopefully this message will get to Snoop Dogg, and he will do something to promote Black history in a more positive way," he said.
In a statement to Best Life, a spokesperson said, "Kroger is committed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in all we do. Our intentions are never meant to be offensive."
Some said that the situation wasn't "that serious."
While complaints resulted in the display's removal, not everyone was as offended. WSB-TV spoke with another Kroger shopper, Pam Lewis, who felt that there wasn't anything wrong with the Snoop Dogg display—and it shouldn't have been taken down.
"I mean, if you want to drink wine whether it's Black History Month or not it shouldn't really make any difference," she said.
On the outlet's Facebook page, others said that the situation was overblown. "It's not that serious. He's a black man with his own wine. What's the issue," one comment reads.
"I don't drink wine but how would that be offensive? Isn't [Snoop Dogg] a part of black history?" another Facebook user wrote, stating that recently, people are "looking for something to complain about."
They added, "It's draining. Don't like something? Go somewhere else, change the channel, bypass an account, etc."
Kroger also made headlines earlier this month.
It's been a tough few weeks for Kroger, as some customers claimed they're being overcharged at their local stores. On Feb. 3, TikTok user Hanna Daminski posted a video showing that she ordered one pound of salmon online for $8.99. Kroger's pickup service, however, gave her six pounds of salmon and charged her $50.
"Kroger pickup decided I'm eating salmon for a month," she wrote on the video in overlaying text.
Commenters said they've also run into similar issues with Kroger. "They've done the same thing to me! Twice in a row," one user commented, while another wrote, "Same thing happened to me with ground beef once. Ordered two 1lb packages and somehow ended up with a 10lb log?"
A Kroger employee chimed in and said that there is a flaw in the company's system. "I work in a Kroger pickup. There's a thing at the end [where] you can write how much you want," they wrote. "Until they fix that thing, what you ordered shows up as one entire side of a salmon and corporate just expects you to know."