Jelly candies
Jelly candies [Representational Picture]Reuters

The children in New Zealand were in for a phallic joke, when packets of novelty Dragon Sweets gummies somehow got mixed up with penis-shaped gummies in supermarkets.

The inappropriately shaped candies, which were on sale exclusively in the South Island have since been branded offensive and recalled from shops, according to The New Zealand Herald

Apparently, a New Zealand based candy company Dutch Rusk had imported 7,200 bags of mixed gummy lollies, called Dragon Sweets from a Chinese manufacturer about six weeks ago. These were then supplied to supermarkets and it wasn't until two weeks back that complaints started rolling in.

Barrie Aburn of Dunedin, said that his daughters Cadence, 8, Rihanna, 6, and Payton, 5, had brought a bag of these Dragon Sweets from Moyles SuperValue in Green Island for his birthday. When his partner Jacqui Hawkins randomly took a sweet from the bag, it happened to be a penis shaped gummy. She was enraged to find yet another candy in the pack, which was a baby gummy with a penis. ''I don't find anything amusing about it at all. I find it disgusting,'' she said.

Dutch Rusk managing director Willem Van de Geest said that he was unaware about the inappropriate penis shaped gummy bears inside the bags. "You have to look at it two or three times to think that doesn't look right," he insisted.

However, he did say that the candies imported from Asia was originally meant to be sold in England, where they wouldn't have blinked an eyelid over it. "It may be offensive in New Zealand, but the customers in the East would consider penis shaped gummies as a sign of "fertility and health", Van de Geest added. "We don't mind a hand or a foot being part of a lolly but we object to a breast or a penis.''

Calling it a "one-off" incident, Van de Geest has promised that "it won't happen again." He has been importing candies from around the world for over 25 years and an offensive lolly had never been included in a mix before, he said.

Dutch Rusk had to swallow their thousands in losses and apologize manifold for the inconvenience. Aburn was also offered some approriately shaped candies for free.