I love Hotel Chocolat. I loved them the first time I tried some of their stuff; their chocolate is just divine.
Unfortunately, their closest store is in a town about 20 minutes away, so I don’t get to go and browse very often. Still, at least they have an online shop.
Anyhow, yesterday I happened to be in the town that has a Hotel Chocolat shop, and I decided to drop into their store and see what was new. I bought a few mini slabs that caught my eye and then, because I didn’t want to share with the kids, I decided to get them a treat of their own.
This is what I found- chocolate lollipops.
You can’t really see inside the plastic but one is a ballerina/fairy and one is a robot. Would you like to guess which is which?
That’s right. The one with the blue label is the robot. Obviously. Because boys like robots don’t they?
And the pink labeled one is the ballerina or fairy. For girls.
And just in case you have a girl who likes robots or a boy who likes fairies, and thought you might get away with removing the small label around the stick before presenting them to your non-gender stereotypical child, Hotel Chocolat have helpfully added a bigger colour coded label at the back.
I made a bit of a cats bum face at these labels as I don’t believe a company that prides itself on being ethical should feel the need to package the products they aim at children according to gender. How about using some gender neutral colours instead. Let the kids make their own choices?
I know that when kids start school the gender stereotyping kicks in pretty quickly. But this doesn’t make it right.
A year ago DS would have not only quite happily eaten a pink labelled ballerina lollipop, but would have been upset if he hadn’t got exactly the same product as his sisters. Yesterday I showed him one of each, and he first pointed to the ballerina, then ‘corrected’ himself and choose the robot instead.
Thanks to insidious packaging like this, at 5 years of age DS now knows that he is supposed to like things packaged in blue.
DD3 would have quite happily eaten the robot; she knows that she is supposed to prefer the ballerina but considers herself quite the rebel. But she’s 7, and it was chocolate so she didn’t make a fuss. Give her a decade or so and I’m willing to bet she’ll writing some cracking letters of complaint.
In researching this post, I went on the Hotel Chocolat website and found that there are various pink Twinkle toes and blue Nibblatrons packs. It’s not just lollipops. This disappointed me further.
If they were both the same shape and name, then yes, I suppose I could cope with that, although obviously I’m not a great fan of the pink and blue thing.
But to label ballet for girls and robots for boys in this day and age seems a bit old fashioned.
Last time I looked it was 2013.