Many social media called Forever 21's diet bar shipments offensive and "fatphobic." A number of people on social media said they received the bars along with orders of larger size clothing. Atkins markets the bars as little carbohydrate snacks for weight loss.
"Bought a swimsuit online from Forever 21, and they sent me an Atkins bar along with it," Twitter user @caileeargudo wrote
. "Thank you for reminding me that I don't have a shed ready for beach."
, in a statement, said it sent free diet bar samples with all orders and sizes.
"From time to time, Forever 21 surprises our customers with free third-party test products in their e-commerce orders," the company said. "The current freebie items were included in all online orders, in all sizes and categories, for a limited time and have since been removed. This was our on-site inspection and we sincerely apologize for any infringement that may have caused our customers. , since this was not our intention in any way. "
Others on social media confirmed that the bars were shipped with all electronic orders – not just to plus size customers.
In a statement, Atkins said the products are meant to help people achieve "general health and well-being."
"Our brand development is reflected in the current marketing efforts to highlight health benefits of eating an Atkins low carbohydrate / low sugar lifestyle, with a portfolio of nutritious and delicious snacks for everyone," the company said.
This criticism comes because diversity and inclusion – of people of all shapes, sizes and colors – has increasingly become a focus of retailers and fashion companies.
Victoria's Secret has come under fire and lost customers not to accommodate a wide range of customers of different sizes. Others, such as Walmart and Target, have expanded their size options through investments in plus sizes. Altering plus-size consumers can also mean missing out on a huge market opportunity – it is estimated by industry analysts to be worth around $ 21 billion.