TRENTON, N.J. – Production of candy shaped like roadkill has come to a screeching halt. The decision, announced Friday by Kraft Foods Inc. (search), was the result of an outcry by New Jersey animal rights activists who said the candy encouraged children to be cruel to animals.
"We take comments from our consumers really seriously and, in hindsight, we understand that this product could be misunderstood," said Kraft spokesman Larry Baumann.
Kraft plans to stop production as soon as possible and then sell off remaining inventory, Baumann said.
The fruity-flavored Trolli Road Kill Gummi Candy (search) — shaped like flattened snakes, chickens and squirrels, complete with tire treads — hit store shelves across the United States last summer and was supposed to be another offbeat and unusual addition to Kraft's Gummi candy line.
But the nonprofit New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (search) thought differently. Earlier this week, it threatened petition drives, boycotts and letter-writing campaigns.
Stuart Rhodes, the organization's president, said he never thought his group's efforts would be so successful.
"Did I think it would happen as fast as I did? No. I guess like most people I've become very cynical. All too often it seems that profit rules all. This was refreshing," Rhodes said.
The state of New Jersey designates the NJSPCA the enforcer of its animal cruelty laws. Law enforcement takes up a large part of the group's efforts, but Rhodes has stressed more public advocacy since he took over a year ago.
This is the first time the organization has complained to a company about a product, Rhodes said.
Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. is in the process of acquiring the Trolli brand along with other Kraft candy lines as part of a $1.48 billion deal.