Dear Food and Cosmetic Industry,

Thank you for elucidating specifically which foods are meant for which people.  I never would have known which yogurt to buy if it weren’t for your well targeted advertising on TV and your helpful product names. 

For example, now that my nephew is weaning off formula and incorporating more solid foods into his diet, it’s imperative that my in-laws know what kind of foods are specifically for him.  Since unlike any of his blood relatives, he likes yogurt, they would have no idea what to feed him if it weren’t for the “YoBaby” line of yogurts.  A reasonably well read consumer can’t be expected to integrate the knowledge that children under 2 should eat only full fat (whole milk) dairy products into their selection of a whole milk yogurt at the dairy case.  Thank you for making it painfully obvious. As I have just learned, “YoBaby is the only whole milk organic yogurt made especially for babies and toddlers.”

As my nephew matures and sheds the “baby” image, it’s also nice to know there’s a line of yogurts for the “toddler” segment as well.  What would it be but “YoToddler” of course!  And onward to the “YoKids” line, which, of course, is low-fat.  As long as you stay glued to the Stoneyfield Farm website, you’ll know exactly what to feed your kids.

But what about adults?!  How would we know what is suitable for men and women if it weren’t for the food industry, helpfully giving us hints all along?  Thankfully we have commercials to point out that yogurts in flavors like “key lime pie” and “Boston cream pie” are just for women.  You’ll only ever see a man in a Yoplait commercial if he’s being chastised for sneaking his wife’s yogurt in search of an aspartame fix. 

Yogurt’s not really a manly thing, anyway.  Now, soap, that’s manly.  How to tell, though, if soap is for men or women?  Mercifully, dark colored packaging and the recent inclusion of the word “MEN” on the label (as in Dove “Men + Care” body wash or the aptly named “Nivea for Men”) clears up that mystery.  Heaven forbid men use a product that smells like cucumber & green tea scent or nectarine and white ginger.  Or “unscented” or “original”.  Now I can tell just by glancing at a box whether a soap, body wash, razor, shampoo, or band-aid is right for my husband, or designed exclusively for me. 

Wasn’t there a Pepsi product that was supposed to be for men?  Ah, yes, the Pepsi Max was intended to be a diet soda for men. Men aren’t really supposed to like diet soda or light beer, but Pepsi knows there are guys who are Diabetties, or don’t want the extra calories.  What was a man to do? Thank you, PepsiCo, for leading the way with the man’s diet cola! 

Frozen foods?  Clearly, women are the ones who should be watching their calories and they can rely on frozen dinners to help them accomplish this.  Lean Cuisines are just right for that calorie-conscious woman on the go.  But men?  Men eat frozen dinners when they need to fill up their manly stomachs.  Poor things don’t have someone to cook them enough to satiation, so they need things like “Hungry Man”, and other foods that advertise their main selling points as the number of pounds and ounces of meat-like substances crammed in their paperboard containers.  Thank you for making it obvious.

But what to feed our kids?  Thanks to advertising, I now know that kids should only eat foods that come in lurid colors.  Ice cream in “bubble gum” and “tutti frutti” flavors, popsicles or string cheese that has added bonuses like jokes and cartoon characters on the box. We are guided to feed our kids frozen dinners in they can eat with their fingers (silly kids can’ t use utensils!).  And it’s all thanks to you, food industry.  You take care of our families.

Thank you, food industry, for telling us what to feed our family!  Thank you, cosmetics industry, for showing us which products are suitable for which gender. 

Yours,

A demographic

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