The Kitchen is For Everyone with Betty Crocker's Gender Neutral Pack Instructions

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One boy tweeted Betty Crocker leading them to change its Arabic instructions to be more gender neutral in the campaign from VMLY&R
The Kitchen is For Everyone with Betty Crocker's Gender Neutral Pack Instructions

It’s no secret that the youth of today are calling on companies to act for positive change across the world. In the Arab world, the latest young champion for change is Sultan Abdullah Mohammed Soumr, an eight-year-old boy from Ras Al Khaimah. Sultan stepped forward to address gender inequality when he noticed that a global brand which has embodied family values for almost 100 years - Betty Crocker - might need to look again at its Arabic instructions on the packaging. 

Sultan, who enjoys baking with his family, saw that the Arabic terminology in cooking instructions on a pack of Betty Crocker Mug Treats Triple Chocolate Cake that spoke only to the female population. As a young boy passionate about cooking, he voiced his feelings to this elder sister, who highlighted them in a tweet while tagging the brand’s social media platform. The tweet, which subsequently went viral read: “Betty Crocker, why do your baking instructions only speak to women?”

Betty Crocker listened. The baking giant immediately began working to change the language on its packs, to make sure that all of its customers – male and female, young and old – would feel included. This was no small task. As one of the region’s biggest brands, it meant rewriting and redesigning instructions for more than 40 products, and then reprinting a whopping more than 20 million packs to make sure that the language used was gender neutral and inclusive, because, as Sultan pointed out, the kitchen is for everyone.

The campaign was delivered by global brand and customer experience agency VMLY&R.

“At Betty Crocker, we believe in equality and inclusivity. We believe in ‘Each for Equal’ and we welcome ideas and recommendations from any source. It was truly inspiring to hear Sultan’s opinions, especially given his age - it proves that there are no barriers to creating change.  Across the region, our products have been part of bakers’ lives for decades, and it’s important that we constantly evolve to stay connected, and reflect the family values of every generation,” said Ali Akhtar Shaikh, commercial director MEA and marketing capabilities director for Asia Middle East Africa.

Kalpesh Patankar, chief creative officer of VMLY&R, MENA said: “Betty Crocker is an incredible client partner who has taken the important step of evaluating its company and the impact of its brands. We saw a clear and necessary change in the packaging and brand voice. We realised how simple it is to be gender equal – and all it took was for us to make the change. As we move past the age of awareness and into action, it’s so important for brands to take the steps - big and small - that can move us toward gender equality. Brands today have the power to make these meaningful changes.”

Sultan, the young advocate for equality, is excited about the change he has been able to bring about and looks forward to making a positive effect in his community as he grows older. Sultan hopes his efforts pioneer gender equality inspire other like-minded youth to do the same. “I love baking with my family especially with Betty Crocker ingredients since they are easy to use. It makes me happy to hear that more children like me can now enjoy making delicious food with their families too” shared Sultan.

Sultan’s voice has now helped to inspire a whole new Betty Crocker campaign - ‘The Kitchen is for All’. For almost 100 years Betty Crocker has been making life more delicious for families across the world. With this latest campaign, the brand encourages the whole family to get involved in the baking process, from everyday dinners and desserts, to special occasion feasts. “This not only ensures that every member of the family spends quality time together but also gives families a chance to create memories that last a lifetime,” added Ali Shaikh.  

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Genres: Documentary, People, Dialogue

Categories: Food, Home baking

VMLY&R - Asia, 2 months ago