Why is yogurt advertised solely to women?
In the few links I provide below we see examples of yogurt being advertised solely to women. Yogurt commercials typically portray women as best friends, a mother and daughter duo, or even a health conscious woman by herself, contemplating an unhealthy snack or the yogurt as an alternative. Through marketing and advertising campaigns yogurt has become the official snack for women with the obvious counterpart of beer and meat being marketed solely to men.
I believe that the gendering of food can be traced back as far Medieval Times. Before people became educated regarding the nutritional values of grains, vegetables, and dairy products meat was considered the only way to obtain substantial protein. During this time men were the hunters, while women were the gatherers. Men were considered the most superior and powerful gender compared to women and thus consumed the majority of the meat products thinking they deserved the protein. Even though a woman's daily work could be just as strenuous as a man's, men were considered the gender with the most physical work to do, and meat was considered the main source of strength and protein to do the work.
Research now shows us that people who choose to eat no meat can still get all of the protein and nutrients they need from other sources, and can be even healthier than those who choose to consume meat products. In some cultures vegetarians are still assumed to be woman, and men are looked at as weaker if they choose a vegetarian diet. Out of the 3.2 percent of American adults who partake in a vegetarian lifestyle, 60% of them are woman. Although it was a long time ago that men who did not eat meat were thought of as feminine and less masculine, some of this stereotyping is still present today.
Advertising to a gender comes down to two basic things: health and attractiveness. The reason yogurt is exclusively marketed towards women is because it is advertised as a healthy snack alternative that will help you reach or maintain your weight goals and thus make you healthy and more attractive. When marketing to men its not about weight goals, its about becoming stronger and more masculine so you’ll be more sexually attractive. Women generally respond best when things are targeted as “health goals” and for men marketing tends to be about whether or not this product will help them get laid. Yogurt fits into the first category.
Take Activia yogurt commercials for example. Activia promotes their brand of yogurt as healthy for digestion problems in women. It is considered less-masculine for men to battle with digestion problems and thus its not discussed. Yogurt is also said to balance the bacteria needed to maintain vaginal health. As a man would you grab yogurt as a snack when it’s said to maintain vaginal health?
In the Yoplait commercial you see a woman trying to decide if she should have a piece of cheesecake or not. She discovers the cheesecake-flavored yogurt in her refrigerator and eats instead. You are led to believe she is thrilled at getting to have her Cheesecake yogurt and she doesn’t miss the real thing at all. It is highly unlikely to see a commercial of a man contemplating what to eat because of diet or weight consciousness.