Waitrose is changing the name of its Cooks’ Ingredients Kaffir Lime Leaves to Makrut Lime Leaves after realising it could cause racial offence.
The original name of the product has historically been used as a racial slur in South Africa, Waitrose said, adding that the change came in response to customer feedback.
The new packaging of the dried lime leaves, which are a popular ingredient in South East Asian cuisine, will be rolled out to all shops and Waitrose.com by early 2022.
Helena Dennis, Waitrose grocery trading manager, said: "This name change is a crucial step in recognising how important it is for us to listen to customers and educate ourselves when it comes to the language we use. While some of our customers may be unaware of the connotations of this particular word, it’s important to us that we avoid offending anyone who shops with us.
"It is changes like this that ensure we are moving forward. We need industry-wide support on this, and encourage other retailers to do the same in order to make a difference on a widespread, national scale.
"The previous name for Makrut Lime Leaves is still widely referred to in cookbooks and other printed literature, so we also pledge to explain the change in name via on-shelf labelling, our recipe cards and in our Cookery Schools."