Some consumers are not taking kindly to the free samples included in their recent Forever 21 online orders.
Free Atkins diet bars came in some plus-size orders, shoppers reported on social media with many saying they felt “fat-shamed” and “body-shamed”.
“My friend bought plus size clothes from @Forever21 and they gave her a sample item… the sample item was an Atkins bar!! Are you kidding me?!? #forever21 #shopping #plussize #fahion #bodyshaming #getthisreported,” Twitter user @melodycgreen tweeted.
Forever 21 confirmed in a statement to USA TODAY that samples are occasionally included with online orders but that this sample was included in orders “across all sizes and categories.” The samples have “since been removed,” Forever 21 said.
Macy’s ‘body shaming’ moms? See the ‘mom jeans’ plates removed from stores after backlash
More store closings coming: An estimated 12,000 shops could close by the end of 2019
“From time to time, Forever 21 surprises our customers with free test products from third parties in their e-commerce orders,” Forever 21 said in the statement . “The freebie items in question were included in all online orders, across all sizes and categories, for a limited time and have since been removed.”
The retailer, which also faced criticism this week for selling bike shorts that said “Fake News,” called the sample situation an oversight.
“This was an oversight on our part and we sincerely apologize for any offense this may have caused to our customers, as this was not our intention in any way,” Forever 21 said in a statement.
Atkins also issued a statement Tuesday and said the brand is “focused on a lifestyle nutritional approach where everyone can benefit from overall health and wellbeing.”
“The intention of sampling Atkins products is to share snacks that taste great with optimal nutritional benefit,” the company said in its statement.
The backlash follows Macy’s removing “portion control” dinner plates after accusations that they promote eating disorders.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko