Is 2017 the Year of the Woman?

January 23, 2017

How does the food world embrace the empowered women of 2017 and the men that support them?

We encourage the food world to embrace the women of 2017 and the future by supporting their cause-driven interests, emboldened spirits, and unwillingness to be silent in the face of injustices. Align your brand or store with causes that speak to the modern thinking woman. If you are a retailer, host community action gatherings, participate in food drives, healthy eating initiatives, and school fundraisers. Food brands should put the cause they are working with on the label of their products as to stand out on the shelves. 

While probably the most controversial President in history was sworn in on Friday, Saturday saw what analysts are calling the largest protest in history with over a million people participating in marches that spanned over six continents, which surprisingly included even a protest in Antarctica. 

In Washington D.C., an estimated 500,000 rallied in front of the capitol for five hours listening to speeches and artists perform, covering issues that ranged from reproductive rights to immigrant rights, education and healthcare, gender injustices when it comes to taxes on women’s products and equal pay, clean water, LGBQT+ rights, climate change, refugees, and more. Following the rally, the crowd marched through D.C. past the Trump Hotel and ended by surrounding the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue leaving signs along the gates in front with their messages for the President. 

With zero reported arrests or unruliness, the protest, fueled by powerful chants, was peaceful. And many businesses were more than welcoming to the protestors and seemingly unconcerned that there would be disruption to the city, offering free coffee and hot chocolate, free food and care packages, use of restrooms, and phone charging stations. Many restaurants offered specials, but even more impressive were the ones that chose a cause that they advertised donating all proceeds for the day.

Despite political preferences, as a retailer or food manufacturer, it is vital that attention is paid to the powerful position your women shoppers are now demanding. They are cause-oriented, they are sensitive to equality, they are concerned about the environment and the health of their families and others. They are the mothers, caretakers, and making it very clear they are the procreators of humanity. And the men in their lives support their platforms. 

As we observed in the Washington D.C. Women’s March, this emerging woman that embraces her femininity and is unafraid to raise her voice has nothing to do with age. The march included people that ranged from children to senior citizens. 

The message at these marches and rallies was resounding as speakers actually laid out action plans and suggestions for protestors to take back home with them to take action locally. The message was to get involved with your community, support people different from you, run for local offices, inundate your representatives and senators with calls and letters, letting them know what issues are of concern.

Over a million people around the globe, organized, showed up and raised their voices on Saturday in the name of women’s rights, but essentially for all human rights. These people will be in your stores with eyes wide open. Do not underestimate them.