BuzzFeed, popular e-pub known for cat GIFs and a million lists, published a post written by “brand publisher” Quaker Chewy, and the opening lines are not kind to the food allergy community.
The title: 50 Thoughts Every Mom Has at Snack Time. Brand messaging? “Snack time doesn’t have to be stressful. With the right ingredients, it can be fun and laid-back — just like Quaker Chewy® Caramel Apple Granola Bars.”
And then it begins:
“The kids will be home soon, and they’ll be hungry.
Are they bringing that friend with all of those allergies?
I really hope not. I mean, I like her, but come on.”
LOL Quaker Chewy. God, food-allergic children are such a nuisance, right? So stupid that these special snowflakes make everyone accommodate them. Ugh.
It’s just a joke, right? Sure, but try this out. Re-read that string of sentences, but replace “food-allergic” with any other medical issue. Kids with autism, kids with hearing impairments, kids in wheelchairs, kids with cerebral palsy, kids with learning difficulties.
Who would ever let that fly? What director of a snack brand whose target demographic includes moms would green-light such a statement? None of them.
Quaker Chewy’s sending an irresponsible, insensitive message. As we approach 2015, I personally am hoping for greater awareness and empathy for the food allergy community. Also shouting out friends, teachers, and coaches of families with food allergies. Thanks for making our kids feel welcome. Thanks for committing to their inclusion. We appreciate it!
Quaker, if y’all need a crash course in food-allergy education or sensitivity or – IDK – effective marketing, call me.
Update: The “food allergy” portion has been omitted from the article on BuzzFeed and Quaker has taken down the post on Facebook. No statement given.
Update #2: Quaker has issued the following apology on Facebook:
We sincerely apologize for the language in a recent sponsored article that appeared on a partner site. While the tone was meant to be playful, we realize it instead came across as insensitive. Food allergies are a serious issue and we did not mean to make light of them. We respect families who manage them on a daily basis and carefully label our products with allergen statements as a result. We’ll do better next time!