Ocado drops blasphemous product: ‘We didn’t mean to offend’

Online supermarket Ocado appears to have stopped selling a product that used gratuitously offensive language about Jesus Christ, following complaints.

Last month The Christian Institute raised concerns about “Christ on a Bike” beef jerky, saying it was saddening that the retailer was stocking the product.

Initial complaints were met with the response that the company would continue to sell the product.


However, a member of staff has now told one Institute supporter: “I’d like to reassure you that we no longer stock the product and did not mean to cause any offence”.

The supermarket, the world’s largest dedicated online grocery retailer, has removed the product information from its website.

The spicy beef jerky – dried strips of meat – is one of three items Ocado previously sold from the Billy Franks company.


Following the concerns, Billy Franks has said it is “rethinking” the flavour name, which it noted came from another company and was chosen in a Twitter competition.

Billy Franks said it believed the name was selected to express shock and surprise, “not to mock one’s faith or beliefs”.

The Christian Institute contacted Ocado’s press office last month, but it did not respond.


Ciarán Kelly, Deputy Director at the Institute, who had invited the supermarket to “think again about lending their brand to something so gratuitously offensive” welcomed the news.

Last year a card which made light of adultery was pulled from Tesco’s shelves after complaints from shoppers.

The birthday card had the words: “Time for a sports car and an affair” on its front cover.

The card drew criticism from Twitter users including Lesley Smith, who said: “Disappointed to see messages like this on cards @Tesco. Words are powerful”.

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