Do dads help in the morning? One baker doesn’t think so

No matter what dads do, they can’t seem to convince the makers of breakfast food items that dads are active, engaged and present during the morning routine.littledebbie.jpg

Numerous products regularly insist that dad doesn’t buy cereal, he can’t microwave a breakfast burrito, or simply can’t choose the proper peanut butter.

And now, there’s another product that’s joined the morning exclusion bandwagon, one which marks those authentic, crazy morning rituals – just apparently not endured by dads.

Little Debbie has unveiled its Moms of 7 AM campaign, which seemingly discounts dads as equal, competent parents.

Of course, we have a problem with this approach.  By positioning its product around a facet of daily life we all endure and is not exclusive to any gender – the morning ritual – and claiming it to be mom’s domain, Little Debbie is ignoring a lot of grocery shopping, caretaking (working and stay-at-home) dads everywhere.  It’s a practice that’s particularly hard to believe for a company that proudly claims to be “a family bakery.”

littledebbie2.jpgOf course, families include dads, and its own founder, O.D. McKee, sounds like he was a seemingly a good dad in his own right, naming the brand after his own granddaughter.  It even uses a manthe Muffin Man – to promote its own products.

What’s also disappointing is how its ad firm, the great Luckie & Co., managed to only conduct extensive quantitative and qualitative research with moms – then claimed to finally get to the heart of what makes 7 a.m. a special time in households across America.  How could this conclusion have been reached without consulting dads?

littledebbie4.pngWe’ll contend that in most homes, dad plays an important, pivotal role in the life of a family – even during the morning routine.

It wouldn’t take much for Little Debbie to rename its campaign “Parents of 7 AM,” just like it hasn’t taken much to turn off dads with this exclusionary promo.

There’s plenty of other snack cakes to choose from, so let’s hope Little Debbie – a family bakery – makes a quick switch before dads quickly switch to another brand.

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Baby food is important – and so are dads

Could it really be the business model of Beech-Nut to exclude dads as part of its beechnut1.pngcustomer base?

It’s a fair question when you visit beechnut.com and read its content.  After all, what else is one to think when you see a website which speaks only to moms and ignores dads as fully competent and equal parents?

Having a practice like this would be like showing up at a party where the host only speaks to your partner and completely ignores you.  Doesn’t talk to you.  Doesn’t even look at you.

It was a little like that with Beech-Nut’s CEO Jeff Boutelle, who used the word “moms” 18 times during this 2014 interview with Grocery Headquarters, with nary a mention of “dads.”

beechnut2.jpgNo one likes to be left out, but sadly, this belief is penned right within its mission, where it insists only moms prepare food for families.

Yet even if Beech-Nut claims that research proves the majority of its customers are moms, why exclude the dad segment as if it doesn’t matter?  Stereotypical dad-products (e.g., tools, cars), or even sports, doesn’t hone its marketing exclusive to men.  So why must Beech-Nut craft its message to the exclusion of equally capable parents like dads?beechnut3.png

It’s a gender bias, which is sexist and wrong.  Dads cook.  Dads buy baby food.  Dads feed children.

We’re calling for Beech-Nut to treat dads like true parents and make some quick edits to its website and social media.  If its values include “real food for everyone,” then it must think not only about current dads, but the future ones who are eating its product right now – and will want to be valued as consumers someday when they become dads, too.