Controversy over Iceland’s ‘new’ Easter treat

Strong views on the UK's hot cross bun

Traditional hot cross buns. Credit: Anna Mente/

UK supermarket chain Iceland has ignited a debate with its latest reimagining of the traditional hot cross bun.

In time for Easter, Iceland introduced a novel concept by offering hot cross buns adorned with a ‘tick’ rather than the traditional cross, running this experiment alongside the sale of the classic version.

Changes stir the pot

This move has sparked intense reactions among customers and Christian organisations, who see the alteration as a departure from the bun’s religious significance.

The cross on hot cross buns is meant to symbolise Jesus’ crucifixion, closely tied to Good Friday’s remembrance.

Iceland’s survey found that a fifth of its patrons favoured replacing the cross with a tick, similar to the Nike ‘swoosh’ symbol. According to The Sun, Iceland’s David Lennox commented, ‘The results surprised us, but in true British fashion, we’re putting it to the test by trialling ticks on some of our buns.’

Social media storm

The news has created a Social media storm, the Non Woke Church expressed their views on Twitter/X: ‘It’s all part of the playbook, isn’t it? Changing the cross on hot cross buns is a calculated move.

‘It’s emblematic of a broader modus operandi: dismantle, disorient, and rebrand. By altering something as innocuous as a pastry, they’re sending a clear message: nothing is sacred, and everything you hold dear is up for revision.

‘It’s not just about buns; it’s a microcosm of their larger agenda to reshape the identity and values of the country they’ve decided to commandeer.’

Another hot-under-the-collar individual posted on GB News Twitter/X: ‘I wake up every day and wonder if things can get anymore crazy and the answer is always yes! Getting off Twitter now before steam comes out of my ears.’

One person questioned the Iceland survey: ‘”it seems some people want to do away with the cross design and move to a tick instead.” And who exactly are these people?’ While another response from Kevin took a much softer tone: ‘Hot tick buns, I can work with that.’

Tradition versus innovation

Despite the uproar, Iceland aims to gather consumer feedback before considering more extensive changes. The supermarket’s experimentation is not isolated to symbols, flavour variations in hot cross buns are common.

However, this specific trial strikes a chord due to the deep-rooted religious connections of Easter treats. Danny Webster from the Evangelical Alliance reassured, ‘Whatever Iceland put on their buns, Christians will continue to declare the truth of the cross that Jesus is alive.’

This episode highlights the delicate balance between respecting traditions and embracing change, especially when it concerns symbols with deep cultural and religious significance.

The outcome of Iceland’s trial may set a precedent for how retailers approach the modernisation of traditional products in the future.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • Naimah

      22 March 2024 • 10:40

      What´s the point of a tick? It doesn´t mean anything. It´s just woke nonsense

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