A confectionery company is dealing with a sticky situation after penis-shaped gummy lollies made their way into some of its packs, costing the company thousands of dollars in recalls.
New Zealand confectionery company Dutch Rusk imported five pallets of the gummy lollies, called Dragon Sweets, from a Chinese manufacturer about six weeks ago.
Two weeks later the company started receiving complaints from people who discovered the phallic gummies in their mixed gummy pack.
Dutch Rusk managing director of sales Jack Van de Geest said the company immediately recalled the lollies once it started receiving complaints.
"When first someone told us we thought they were joking, it can't be right.
"But they said no, it's honestly true so they sent us a bag. Then another phone call came a couple of days later and we thought, 'what's going on?' and got everything sent back."
One out of every 20 or 30 bags would have one or two little gummy penises in them, he said.
The company had apologised to the customers and compensated them with free lollies.
One of the families who purchased the lollies were the Aburns of Dunedin. Dad Barrie told the NZ Herald that his three young daughters had bought him a bag of Dragon Sweets for his birthday.
Mr Aburn's partner, Jacqui Hawkins, said she found one of the penis lollies in the bag.
"I don't find anything amusing about it at all," she said. "I find it disgusting."
Collecting up all the bags of lollies and dumping them at the tip had cost the company thousands of dollars, Van de Geest said.
"We've done everything that could possibly have been done ... these things happen."
The manufacturer had also apologised and refunded the company some money, Van de Geest said.
The main concern now was that stockists of the company's lollies would cancel their orders as a result of the incident, he said.
"We want to put it to rest."
The lollies were not considered offensive in China, where the shape was a symbol of fertility and health. In fact, they are marketed and sold around the world as Penis Gummies.