The UK supermarket Iceland Foods raised some eyebrows when it announced it would be offering hot cross buns this year, replacing the cross with a “tick” (checkmark). Hot cross buns are a traditional treat eaten on Good Friday, with the cross meant to be a reminder of Jesus’s death and subsequent resurrection during the holiest days of the Christian calendar. The chain stated the decision was due to a survey of 2,000 customers, where a fifth of the customers stated they preferred the tick.

A number of customers criticized the move, with one on social media writing, “Jesus didn’t die on a tick. Hot tick buns are just another method of erasing Christianity, it’s literally another diversity tick for Iceland to appease the woke.” Danny Webster, director of advocacy at the Evangelical Alliance, said the move did not change the meaning of the season. “Easter is when Christians across the globe remember Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave. Whatever Iceland put on their buns, Christians will continue to declare the truth of the cross that Jesus is alive,” he said. A number of Tory MPs also criticized the decision, with Reform UK MP Lee Anderson calling it “ridiculous.” “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,” he said.

The attention ended up boosting sales of Iceland’s traditional hot cross buns by 134%. Richard Walker, executive chairman of Iceland Foods, acknowledged the uptick in sales and thanked the MPs for the attention their ire had brought. “Big shout out to trendsetters Rees Mogg and 30p Lee for bigging up Iceland’s hot ‘tick’ buns. They weren’t for real btw lads,” he wrote. The “tick” buns were actually released in a limited run. A spokesperson for Iceland Foods stated the chain had never intended to replace the traditional buns with a tick. “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,” said the spokesperson. The company’s head of development, David Lennox, said the results of the survey had surprised the company. “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 trialing ticks on some of our buns.” Lennox said it would be “interesting to see if the British public take a liking to buttering their ticked buns.” He affirmed, however, the company’s commitment to the traditional bun. “However, we’d of course never get rid of the original and much-loved Easter staple!”

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