What? Yes…Stonemill Bakehouse, an Ontario based bread manufacturer has just released bread targeted specifically to each gender. For men, there’s the green packaged, protein packed, fibre fuelled Barley and Rye. For women, (who apparently don’t need protein and fibre) there’s the pink packaged, calorie conscious, calcium filled Hemp and Quinoa.
“Gendered eating” is not limited to bread. Marketing has played the gender card many times before when branding certain foods.
Ads tell us that meat is man food and we learn that women eat flaky, flavourless “guilt-free” snack foods and yogurt. But rarely do you see anything other than daily supplements be specified as “his” and “hers”.
The company insists the intention behind the Health and Well-Being bread is to directly target the nutritional needs of each gender. From a marketing perspective, it’s right on point. Why? Because as I mentioned above, specifically marketed products shape our way of thinking. Throw in a few trendy buzz foods we can’t pronounce like quinoa and you’ve got a wheaty gold goose.
The health bread craze has been baking up for a little while now with company’s such as Country Harvest and Dempster’s using ingredients like “chia” (like the pets?), ancient grain and everyone’s favourite crop – quinoa. Now I’m no Nutritional Expert here, but I would concerned with anyone who derived most of their daily nutritional intake from bread…of any gender… In fact many of these breads still contain fructose (which, in considerate amounts, causes insulin resistance and high blood pressure), preservatives and other unhealthy additives.
So there you stand. It’s a Wednesday night Loblaws run and you’re staring at the endless aisle of health breads, gluten free breads, whole wheat breads and you’re favourite of all – good old white. Stonemill has noted your yoga pants and your calorie-counting wrist watch and thinks they know you. And they are presenting you with that pretty pink package that fits in so perfectly with your stereotype. But let’s face it, Barley and Rye just sounds so much yummier. You rebel! You walk through the store swinging the burly green bag and when you get to the check-out and the cashier says, “Oh, picking up something for the husband?” you laugh. “No,” you smile, “Actually, I’m low on fibre.” You swing the bag over your shoulder and triumphantly leave the store. Applause ensues. You’ve concurred gender bread bias!