BuzzFeed News has reached out to Walmart, CVS, and Target for more information about verified reports that the stores are all locking up Tide Pods now.
A Tide spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that this was not the company's decision. Also, Tide products in some locations have been locked up for several years due to theft — the detergent has a high resale value.
"Individual retailers decide how to shelve products, often making decisions on a store-by-store basis," the spokesperson said. "We do know that some Tide products have been in secure shelving in some retailers prior to the recent social media conversations."
A Walgreens spokesperson also said that Tide isn't locked up because of the meme. "These measures were taken to help prevent theft, and were unrelated to more recent reports of misuse of the products," they said.
But some reports on social media are saying these are new instances of Tide being locked up. Does that mean kids were going in and eating them in the store? Or did store mangers see the memes and freak out? The world needs to know. Did memes really do this? Or is it all just a misunderstanding?
Watch this space as this story develops.
Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Ryan Broderick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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