After Patak's lime pickle had its recipe changed, a number of vocal consumers took to social media and wrote to the company, until the recipe was reverted back to the original. The hashtag #PreservePataksPickle was supposedly used by a number of lime pickle fans who wanted to protest the latest flavour change.
On Patak's Facebook page, one commenter said "The old lime pickle recipe was SO much better. That's the first and last jar I buy of the "new improved" pickle. Yuk!" On the Amazon reviews for a 283g jar of lime pickle, one user said "They have changed the recipe so avoid this product like the plague – it is disgusting in every way.Would liked to have given it zero stars as that is what it deserves." next to a single star.
Other pickle fans were worried that the changes might go on to affect other products they enjoyed: "I have enjoyed many jars of Pataks Lime pickle (and their mixed pickle) over recent years, but the new, so-called 'improved' recipe for both types of pickle is revolting. Just a few tastes [sic] was enough for me and I binned both jars, so I won't be buying any more. Let's hope they don't mess around with their garlic pickle as well."
The response and turnaround is reminiscent of similar backtracking by other large companies. Last year, Tate & Lyle drew the ire of UK bakers after a change in their icing sugar recipe made whipped icing "gritty". In the 80s, Coca-Cola famously tried to change the soft drink's 100-year-old recipe and introduce New Coke – the public response was so voracious the company reintroduced the old recipe as Coca-Cola Classic.
Patak's has been around since 1957 when it was started by Laxmishanker Pathak – in 2007, the family sold it for £100m to Associated British Foods. They sell around 580,000 jars of lime pickle a year.
Patak brought back the original lime pickle recipe in November 2015 with the product now sporting a label saying "it's back!"