Searching for Equality at Breakfast

As long as we’re changing brand names and packaging for Uncle Ben’s, Aunt Jemima and Land O’Lakes – let’s take a closer look at everything on food shelves.

After all, equality comes in many forms. It’s the state of being equal, especially in status, rights and opportunities. Perhaps it’s time for a gender reckoning.

Consider breakfast food – one of the largest perpetuators of stereotypes. It took years of pointing out Kix’s long-standing slogan to maker General Mills before eventually succumbing to our plea. Same for Cheerios, Quaker Oats and El Monterey.

The industry still hasn’t progressed to appropriately reflect the dignity, respect and warmth dads deserve as equal, competent parents.

How do we know? Look at Mom’s Best Cereal. This brand speaks to only one parent on its website:

  • “Mom’s Best honors and supports real moms”
  • “By Mom’s. [sic] For Moms.”
  • “At Mom’s Best we exist for one reason … to make it easier for hardworking moms (like you!) to do right by their families.”
  • “Moms know what matters most…”
  • “If you’re a mom who’s social, let’s connect!”
  • “We have a vibrant community of moms who are keeping it real and trying to give their family what’s best.”

In a world that won’t stand for old-fashioned stamps and unnecessary exclusion, these statements are shameless enough. But when you look at Post Holdings – the corporate site for Mom’s Best – you’ll find some major hypocrisy.

“We strive to exhibit the highest standards of integrity and fairness in everything we do,” Post Holdings states. “We take responsibility for our actions, adopt an unbiased approach to all colleagues, do the right thing, deliver what we promise and are considerate of individual differences and cultures.”

If that’s true, then it’s time to walk the walk.

Post Holdings needs a massive website overhaul and brand renaming from Mom’s Best to Parents Best. Anything less and it will eventually be forced into doing so by an unforgiving public, all the while spending even more time and money playing PR-catch-up. In this zero-tolerance society, it had better appease consumers who expect nothing but love for everyone in the parenting space, not a select few.

Mom’s Best/Post Holdings hasn’t progressed enough to properly exhibit the respect and warmth toward today’s modern families.

The best time to do this would have been years ago when Mom’s Best was created. The second best time is today.

Why your oatmeal doesn’t like you

quakeroats.jpgIf you’re a dad, take a moment to read these featured screen shots from the pages of Quaker.com.

How do they make you feel?

Left out? Like a forgotten parent? Like an assistant parent at best?

They only speak to moms, and yet these are from Quaker Oats, a product consumed by nearly everyone at some point in life. Quaker should take steps to review its content so as to not alienate readers. Specifically, Quaker should take the responsible road and consider its entire customer base, which includes dads.quakeroats2.jpg

If Quaker claims it’s purposely targeting moms, that’s wrong, because parenting is a shared duty. Anything else furthers the myth that it’s mom’s job to shop, to cook, to care for the family. Dads deserve better.

Quaker was founded by a dad, Ferdinand Schumacher, who had seven children of his own! It even features a man on its well-known logo. What might Schumacher think of the way his company treats dads today?

Dads place trust in Quaker, too, and it’s high time that Quaker recognizes that parents raise children, not just one gender.

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