Tag Archives: Paula Deen

Gender-Biased Marketing Strategies: All That It’s Cracked Up to Be?

Dr. Pepper 10 – “Only 10 MANL Y calories…it’s not for women.”

Chick Beer – “Witness the Chickness!”

Skinnygirl Cocktails – “Drink Like a Lady”

Ruffles Ultimate Potato Chips and Dips – “An unapologetic bro-centric snack with deeper ridges and real pieces of meat.”

Looking at these well-known brands, it’s quite obvious that gender-stereotyping is an ongoing trend for food and drink.  But is that a good thing or bad thing?  Sure, men and women have both been stereotyped by the marketing/advertising world for years—beer commercials are usually filled with guys drinking the “wrong” beer in a bar while trying to pick up a woman.  Insert the “wing man” who gives him the “right beer” and voila!  The woman is now interested in this obviously “cool” guy that drinks a “cool” beer.   And marketing doesn’t leave out the female crowd, either. Friends Having Beer Together Turn on any channel and you’ll see yogurt commercials, specifically Activia, aimed at “real women” to discover what they’ve been “missing.”  Their website includes facts, inspirational quotes, and “Real Women, Real Stories.”  Not one man is featured on the website.  (I guess the marketing team figured men don’t like yogurt filled with probiotics?)  No!  Men (obviously) love big beefy, juicy hamburgers, hearty steaks…there’s even a hot sauce in Canada named “Mansauce”!  According to the brand, it claims to be “the manliest condiment…ever.”  (Wondering what makes a condiment the manliest?  Me too.)  But according to Company partner Chris Galvin, these “manly” ingredients include jalapenos and banana peppers: “stuff that’s typically associated with men.”   (Uh, sorry, but this gal is a jalapeno-lover, too…can I get some Mansauce, or is it against the rules?)

Well-known chefs and publications are even getting into the gender-biased food game.  It all started with the “queen” of food and entertainment, Martha Stewart, whose publication has always had a focus towards women.  Her empire has gained her millions of fans; yet, the majority of those are women who love to create beautiful cakes, test out interesting new recipes, and build tasty cocktails for bridal/baby showers.   Another example is Paula Deen.  While her down-home Southern-style cooking is loved by all, Deen’s sons are now getting into the game as well. They have now started a quarterly special-interest publication, Deen Bros Good Cooking, which, while Mrs. Deen claims is aimed at a “dual audience”, its focus is expected to have strong appeal with men.  Even Reader’s Digest Association has launched a site called Mantestedrecipes.comSuzanne Grimes, president of U.S. Affinities, RDA, said research found that most men like to cook but 70 percent prefer a male-tailored site when it comes to food.  “They approach cooking differently from the way women do,” she said.  “It suggested we should build something just for them.”

Differences in Marketing Towards Men and Women

Why does gender-biased marketing exist?

  1.  Communication.  Men prefer having the information up front and providing background information later, while women prefer background information in terms of how it might be beneficial in the future.  Essentially, men want the facts straight up, while women want an emotional context she can relate to.
  2. Differences in Decision-Making.  Men tend to make decisions based on a process of elimination.  Key factors seem to matter the most when deciding on a product, thereby allowing them to eliminate products that lack those qualities.  Women, on the other hand, tend to look at the overall picture before making a decision.
  3. Gender Identification.  Men are much more concerned with products conveying gender perceptions then women; they tend to shy away from anything that would convey femininity.  In a recent series of studies done in Britain and the U.S., it was found that foods such as steak, hamburgers and hot dogs were identified as “boy foods,” and that ordering other food was “considered wimpy.”     Yet, when it comes to women, they don’t seem to care about gender identification.  Thus, the confusion among many women when the trend among alcoholic drinks geared towards the female gender began.  Most women just don’t care.

Should We Care About Gender-Bias Stereotypes?

While there may be physiological reasons as to why males and females tend to pick certain products over others, many consumers are offended by some of the stereotypical food and drinks that are being marketing toward only women or only men.  Take Chick Beer, for instance.  The light beer is packaged in a pink and black polka-dot six-pack “purse”, with the bottle label designed as a little black dress.  Shazz Lewis, Founder of Chick Beer, told the Village Voice, “I wanted to use pink and black and do something extremely iconic (by depicting it using an image of) a purse and a little black dress.  I wanted it to be fun and sexy and I wanted people to have a good time with it.  Beer’s about fun.”

Okay, stop.  Many women agree that beer is fun, including myself.  But many women don’t depict themselves as Paris Hilton when going out and having fun with their friends; they want a nice, craft beer; heck, maybe they’re even wearing a ratty t-shirt with jeans!

Then there’s the new Dr. Pepper Ten and how it’s ‘not for women’.  The ad campaign has decided that in order to appeal to men, it must make the can gunmetal grey with bullets, TV commercials featuring huge guys fighting snakes and shooting lasers in the jungle, and a Facebook page for men ONLY; it has an app that allows it to exclude women from entering the site, which includes shooting games and a “man quiz”.

Jim Trebilcock, executive vice president of marketing for Dr. Pepper, said he’s not worried about the campaign driving women customers away from the brand.  The drink and ad campaign was tested in six markets across the country and about 40 percent of people who tried the drink were women.

“Women get the joke,” he said.

But do they really?  Time will only tell.

Foodservice Week in Brief: January 20

Looking for some of the week’s top information? Here are five stories from the foodservice industry for Jan. 16-20.

Image: seriousfun/MorgueFile

Breakfast at Taco Bell
From Nation’s Restaurant News, Read Article

Burritos, wraps, hash brown patties, Cinnabon Delights and Seattle’s Best coffee are just some of menu items NRN mentioned would be on Taco Bell’s new breakfast menu, which will debut in 10 different states.  This isn’t the first time they’ve rolled out breakfast.  They tried it before with spicy and unique menu items, but the items weren’t favored as much by consumers.  So this time, they’ve added products that are more common.  Read more on the NRN website.

Paula Deen Announces She Has Type 2 Diabetes
From USA Today, Read Article

It was hard to miss Food Network Chef Paula Deen’s announcement this week that she has had Type 2 diabetes for the past three years.  Deen is famous for her indulgent recipes ranging from fried chicken to twice-baked shrimp stuffed potatoes. The USA Today article says Deen will be the spokesperson for Novo Nordisk, who makes a diabetes medication she takes called Victozza.  Read more on the USA Today website.

Burger King Delivery Comes to the United States
From Nation’s Restaurant News, Read Article

Pizza restaurants are known for delivery, and in some major metropolitan areas such as New York City, delivery from different restaurants are common.  Burger King is jumping on board with a delivery service after a successful run with them in some non-U.S. locations.  NRN says four Washington, D.C. locations are currently testing delivery and will add 16 more lotions by Jan. 23.  (Those locations not yet announced).  NRN also mentions if Burger King makes their delivery service nationwide, they will be the first QSR to do so.  The delivery website can be found here, and read more on the NRN website.

Image: Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee

Downtown Indianapolis Restaurants Prep for the Super Bowl
From Indianapolis Star, Read Article

There are an estimated 150,000 people who will travel to Indianapolis for the 2012 Super Bowl.  Indianapolis restaurants, not just downtown, are having to prepare for the large number of people.  However, just looking at the downtown area, according to the Indianapolis Star, there are approximately 25,000 seats at the around 200 restaurants.  Restaurants have had to think outside of the box and work extra hard to make sure their customers have a great experience and they can get through it successfully too, whether it’s turning tables quickly or ensuring deliveries are made as seamlessly as possible with the street closures.  Check out this Indianapolis Star article, which digs in a little deeper on restaurants and check back to the Central blog next Thursday, Jan. 26, for a deeper look on what Indianapolis restaurants are doing to ensure the entire event goes off without a hitch!

Happy National Cheese Lover’s Day!
From Punchbowl, Read Article

Did you know Jan. 20 is National Cheese Lover’s Day? The Punchbowl website lists a fun fact, which is: “The average American consumes about 31 pounds of cheese each year”

Image: alvimann/MorgueFile

They compare it to the French, who consume around 50 pounds!

So, in honor of National Cheese Lover’s Day, here are a few great recipes to get your cheese fix. Enjoy!