Even the very best companies will have received the odd complaint about their packaging at one time or another: it wasn’t strong enough, it didn’t have as much information on it as the customer wanted or it was difficult to open. Yet few will have ever been called to account over the fact that it was ‘sexist’.
But that is exactly what has happened to the makers of Goodfella’s pizza, who hit national headlines at the end of January after it was revealed bosses were changing the packaging following complaints from consumers who claimed that the words it featured were sexist.
The pizza was advertised as boasting the ‘manliest meat’ pepperoni topping, but 28-year-old Caroline Hughes was far from impressed by the claims or by the invitation to get ‘the guys’ over to eat it.
Ms Hughes, of Gravesend in Kent, turned to the Goodfella’s page on social networking site Facebook and posted a photograph and a tongue-in-cheek question about whether women could also eat the pizza or if they could buy ‘a women’s version’.
A brand spokesman responded to Ms Hughes and said that the packaging was being changed following complaints about its manly claims. The reply said that feedback had been taken ‘seriously’ and the company would now be ‘updating the packaging’ to get rid of the manly references.
The spokesman said that the claims had intended to be a ‘bit of fun’ but the company accepted that the idea had ‘missed the mark’ and apologised for any offence caused.
The packaging for the pepperoni pizza and sweet chilli dip showed the sausage topping, tagging it ‘the manliest meat’. The claim was repeated in other writing on the box, and it also featured a call to invite ‘the guys round’ for a pizza which ‘always delivers’.
Speaking to MailOnline, Ms Hughes said that she was surprised by the three references to men and manliness on the pizza packaging. The secondary school teacher added that she had ‘struggled’ to come up with a factor linking being a man and enjoying food.
A spokesman for 2 Sisters Food Group, the manufacturers of Goodfella’s Pizza, said that the packaging for the Takeaway Pepperoni Pizza had not intended to cause offence but admitted that some people had ‘clearly’ considered it sexist.
They said that Goodfella’s was responding to this feedback and pledged that new packaging will hit shelves in the coming few weeks.