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Iceland criticised for selling hot cross buns with tick instead of Christian symbol

Iceland criticised for selling hot cross buns with tick instead of Christian symbol

Supermarket Iceland has sparked backlash after introducing hot cross buns with a tick instead of the traditional symbol.

A hot cross bun is decorated with a cross to represent the crucifixion of Jesus, and is traditionally eaten on Good Friday.

However, Iceland said its customer research found fifth of customers would prefer the spiced Easter buns to have a tick instead.

The supermarket chain stressed it will continue to sell traditional hot cross buns, as well as its chocolate and salted caramel, and raspberry and white chocolate versions.

But the move to introduce an alternative has still been met with criticism from right-wing politicians.

Reform UK MP Lee Anderson told the Express: “It’s this type of ridiculous namby-pamby virtual-signalling that is leading to millions of people echoing Reform UK’s call to get our country back.”

Conservative MP Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg also took aim at the supermarket, which mainly sells frozen food. The North East Somerset MP said: “Who would buy a frozen tick bun?”

The cross on a hot cross bun represents the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The cross on a hot cross bun represents the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Supermarket chains often experiment with different flavours of hot cross buns. M&S sell cheesy versions, while Tesco stocks a strawberry and clotted cream flavour.

Hot cross buns have been linked to Good Friday for at least 350 years.

Iceland’s David Lennox said: “According to the research, it seems some people want to do away with the cross design and move to a tick instead.

“The results surprised us, but in true British fashion, we’re putting it to the test by trialling ticks on some of our buns.”

An Iceland spokesperson said: “We are not replacing or removing the cross from our traditional hot cross buns and they will always be available at our stores nationwide.

“We are always listening to our customers for feedback on our products and we were surprised that a fifth came back to say they would like to see a version with a tick.”