Many people on social media called outcasts of Forever 21 diet bars offensive and "fat phobic." A number of people in social media said they had received the bars along with orders for oversized garments. Atkins markets the bars as low-carbohydrate weight-loss snacks.
"Bought a swimsuit online at Forever 21 and they sent me an Atkins bar," wrote the Twitter user @caileeargudo
. "Thank you for reminding me that I can not finish a beach."
said in a statement that it had sent the free diet bar patterns with all orders and sizes.
"From time to time, Forever 21 surprises our customers with free third-party test products in e-commerce ordering," the company said. "The giveaways in question have been included in all online orders of all sizes and categories for a limited time and have since been removed." This was a mistake on our part and we sincerely apologize for any breaches inflicted on our customers as a result of this no way our intention was. "
Others in the social media confirmed that the bars were sent with all online orders – not just to Plus customers.
In a statement, Atkins said his products are designed to help people achieve "overall health and well-being."
"Our brand development is reflected in current marketing efforts that highlight the health benefits of consuming a low-carbohydrate / low-sugar Atkins lifestyle with a portfolio of nutritious and delicious snacks for all," the company said.
Criticism comes from the fact that diversity and inclusion – of people of all shapes, sizes and colors – have increasingly become the focus of retailers and fashion companies.
Victoria's Secret has come under fire and has lost customers because they have failed to serve a wide range of customers of varying sizes. Others, such as Walmart and Target, have expanded their size options by investing in oversized labels. The alienation of oversized consumers could also mean that a huge market opportunity is missed. Industry analysts estimate the value at 21 billion US dollars.