It no doubt seemed like a good idea at the time, to the harried supermarket staff.
Then it went horribly, embarrassingly viral.
But was there any harm?
Surely all involved had only the best intentions — to cement brand loyalty among members of a minority faith. That, after all, is the motive that birthed the Maxwell House Haggadah.
That’s why the British division of Pringles potato snacks — whether they can be called chips is a heated Talmudic debate in the world of snack food associations — created a cardboard display wishing a “Ramadan mubarak” — a blessed Ramadan — to encourage Muslim customers to indulge in their high sodium treats during this month of daytime fasting and nighttime feasting.
All was fine, until someone on the staff of the Tesco supermarket on Liverpool Street in London stocked the display with “smokey bacon flavored” Pringles.
Bacon, of course, is as haram — treif — to traditional Muslims as it is for traditional Jews.
For some, this was as hilariously inappropriate as the “Passover ham” stocked by an unwitting supermarket years ago, whose photograph circulates on social media every spring.
Raza Hassan, 25, spotted the display and told BuzzFeed News about it. “It didn’t offend me at all — but the irony of it was hilarious,” he said.
A spokesperson for Tesco told BuzzFeed News: “We are proud to offer a wide range of meals and products to meet the needs of our customers during Ramadan. We recognize these Pringles weren’t in the most suitable place, and our store colleagues have now moved them.”
In actuality, the Pringles were artificially flavored, and suitable for vegans, kosher-observing Jews, and Muslims.
We can only hope that “Smoky Bacon” Pringles taste better — and more bacon-y — then plain “Bacon”-flavored Pringles, of which one Amazon reviewer wrote: “There’s only bacon flavor here if you’ve never had real bacon or even smelled real bacon cooking. It’s a dismal, distant thing that isn’t bacon, can’t be bacon and never will be bacon even if pigs get wings and you click your heels three times and say ‘There’s no pigs like home.’ The difference is about on a par with reading about kissing and actually kissing.”