Aisle Chatter

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In this new age of feminism when we are seeing #MeToo gain more momentum with each passing day, not all female-centric concepts are created equal. Case in point: low crunch female friendly chips? PepsiCo’s FEMALE CEO Indra Nooyi discussed the upcoming launch for this new product earlier this month on an interview for the “Freakonomics” podcast, stating that women “don’t like to crunch too loudly in public.” She continued, “They don’t lick their fingers generously and they don’t pour the little broken pieces and the flavor into their mouth.”  Nooyi also stated, “low-crunch, the full taste profile, not have so much of the flavor stick on the fingers, and how can you put it in a purse? Because women love to carry a snack in their purse.” If mansplaining could be turned into a food product, this would be it. The immediate backlash online and on social media was not at all surprising considering the internalized misogyny this concept presented, and it soon had the company backtracking. A spokesperson for PepsiCo told Fox News that “the reporting on a specific Doritos product for female consumers is accurate.” The spokesperson also said, “We already have Doritos for women – they’re called Doritos, and they’re enjoyed by millions of people every day. At the same time, we know needs and preferences continue to evolve and we’re always looking for new ways to engage and delight our consumers.” As a lover of Doritos and the messiness and noisiness that comes along with them, I am happy to hear that they are taking this horrible idea off the shelf, so to speak. This definitely gets the prize for “worst product pitch of the month.”

As convenience stores are making concerted efforts to provide heathier options, 7-Eleven is leading the charge with the introduction of a new line of cold-pressed proprietary juices that are part of the c-store’s private label line of premium, better-for-you snack beverages called “7-Select GO! Smart.” The juices, which come in four varieties (Clean & Green, Tropical Glow, Berry & Bright and Restoration Red), are USDA-certified organic and are made from whole fruits and vegetables. They are also certified fair trade, non-GMO project verified, gluten free, no added sugar, shelf stable and come in a glass bottle instead of plastic. They are also 100 percent fruit juice blends or vegetable and fruit juice blends and vegan. All the bullet points that today’s health conscious consumer wants to check off their list, right? Tim Cogil, director of new product development for 7-Eleven, said, “When you compare this new line of 7-Select GO! Smart cold-pressed juices head-to-head with nationally recognized premium juice brands, well, there is no comparison.” Cogil continued, “Ours are organic and cold-pressed, without additives and not from concentrate. Typically, this level of quality is only found at juice and smoothie restaurants.” With 93 percent of Americans living within 10 minutes of a convenience store and roughly 160 million customers being served each day at the 154,535 locations across the U.S. (this according to the National Association of Convenience Stores – NACS), the step towards providing more healthful eating and drinking options is a very important one.

One of the first things that come to mind when the thought of February comes up, particularly with retailers, is Valentine’s Day. However, the second month of the year is also American Heart Month, a federally designated event meant to encourage people to focus on cardiovascular health. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, but the good news is that it can often be prevented with healthful food and lifestyle choices. With this is mind, Giant Food is hosting free “Heart Healthy” store tours throughout the Maryland, Delaware, northern Virginia and D.C. area for the month of February. These tours will be led by in-store nutritionists who will point out items that affect heart health such as fat and sodium while providing tips and suggestions for preparing heart healthy meals. “Modest diet and lifestyle changes can improve heart health and lower risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 80 percent according to the American Heart Association,” said Lisa Coleman, lead nutritionist at Giant Food. “Giant’s team of nutritionists are passionate about teaching shoppers how simple it can be to make healthy choices. We look forward to meeting with customers throughout the month and talking to them about heart health.” I love it when the grocery stores offer these types of tours because not only does it educate its customers on healthy eating options, but it also shows them where exactly in the store they can find these items. It is also a great way for customers to meet the in-house nutritionists. I think many customers don’t realize they have such accessible resources available to them for health management so events like this that highlight these options are always a great thing to see.