Back in May 2011, three-and-a-half-year-old Lily Robinson wrote a letter to UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, asking why its Tiger Bread was called that when it actually looks much more like a giraffe.
Chris King, a 27-and-a-third-year-old who worked in the Sainsbury’s customer service team at the time, gave this heartfelt response:
“Renaming tiger bread giraffe bread is a brilliant idea – it looks much more like the blotches on a giraffe than the stripes on a tiger, doesn’t it? It is called tiger bread because the first baker who made it a looong time ago thought it looked stripey like a tiger. Maybe they were a bit silly.”
King also included a £3 gift card to thank Lily for taking the time to respond.
Lily’s mum posted the letters on her blog and, thanks to Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and the whole social sphere, the little exchange went viral. And in response to the feedback Sainsbury’s has received following this, the supermarket has today announced that it’s actually changing the name of its bread to giraffe.
“The exchange started trending on Twitter and eventually died down. Last week, the exchange between Lily and Chris suddenly became a topic of conversation on social media networks again. Thousands of Tweets, Facebook likes and shares, hundreds of blog posts, phone calls from customers mentioned the exchange and commended us for this great piece of customers service.
At the time of writing, this single post on Facebook about the tiger bread letters was liked over 150,000 times and shared over 48,000 times.”
Meanwhile, Chris King has returned to university to become a primary school teacher, which seems quite fitting. However, King has become something of an Internet celebrity – he now has a Facebook fanpage called Chris King from Sainsbury’s is a legend.
“We think that renaming tiger bread to giraffe bread is a great idea and want to thank Lily for helping us see the spots for what they are,” continues Sainsbury’s. “What about you? Do you think we should continue to call it giraffe bread?”
Whilst the supermarket invites its customers to weigh in on the debate, asking them to email their thoughts on whether the name-change should be permanent, it seems that the public has already spoken. The Internet sure throws up some weird and wonderful stories, and this is another one for the list.
Oh, and if you’re wondering what Tiger Bread is, it’s made with sesame oil with a pattern baked into the top made by painting rice paste onto the surface prior to baking. The paste dries and cracks during the baking process, creating a two-colour effect similar to a tiger’s markings, hence the name. Thanks for that, Wikipedia.
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