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Artisan range of chocolate grenades raises funds for Ukraine and sparks controversy
Among the outpouring of initiatives to support the victims of the war in Ukraine, one chocolate maker in Kortrijk has been courting controversy for his range of chocolate hand grenades.
While chocolate shops around the country are filling their display windows with Easter bunnies and eggs, Nicolas Beugnies is attracting customers with €5 dark, milk and white cocoa explosives.
Although he is donating half the proceeds to Belgian aid organisation Ukraine 12-12 consortium, the sweet weapons have proved not to be to everyone’s taste.
On social media, the craftsman has been criticised for his choice of object and accused of wanting to make money through the suffering of Ukrainians.
The artisan defended himself on Facebook. “We as chocolatiers have made the choice to start a campaign for the consortium Ukraine 12-12. The product to be considered had to be clear and reflect reality. Our eye fell on the grenade shapes. It reflects the reality of war zones. It’s a powerful signal that would make consumers think," wrote Beugnies.
Recognising the controversy aroused by his product, the chocolate maker pointed out that Easter was a time when families will be celebrating in peace, but not the people of Ukraine.
In response to the accusation that he was more concerned about profit, Beugnies outlined the production costs involved. "We give 50% of the turnover to the Ukraine 12-12 consortium, there’s almost 30 cents VAT, packaging costs €1,77. Subtract material costs, labour, labels, and possibly transport, and then you know what's left? Nothing.”
“But it’s great, since we are supporting a good cause,” he said.
The business plans to make and sell 2,000 chocolate grenades up until 11 April.