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VMLY&R works with Betty Crocker to change regional stereotype with #TheKitchenIsForEveryone


A new generation of women is making change in the Arab world. From conquering Everest to making history at the Olympics, Arab women are making headlines and breaking stereotypes every day. But despite these changes, they are still stuck with the stereotype- ‘women belong in the kitchen’.

For almost a hundred years Betty Crocker has proudly supported women. Or so we thought, until an 8-year-old boy named Sultan, took to twitter and challenged us with a question, “Why are the baking instructions on Betty Crocker’s packs only addressed to women?” The twitterverse exploded in support. It was a moment that made us realize, we needed to make a change.

We needed to answer this young boy, and once again show the world that Betty Crocker supported not only women, but chefs of any age, gender or race.

It was time to change the regional stereotype.

Sultan’s question compelled us to look into Betty Crocker’s most fundamental values. We asked, “Is this the same brand that has reflected women’s progress and supported them over generations? Are we listening to their needs?” While we kept our focus on supporting their needs in the kitchen, we ignored the fact that their lives had blossomed outside the kitchen. We may have noticed that more men were putting on the apron, but inadvertently we had restricted the kitchen to being a domain only for women. We didn’t just owe an explanation to Sultan, but to every home chef who looked up to Betty Crocker for culinary inspiration.

We had an opportunity to set the standard for brands in the region.

We looked at over a hundred products in our market and realized Sultan was right; Arabic cooking instructions were addressed only to women. Working with an Arabic linguist, we found that gender neutral terms that can address both men and women do exist in the Arabic language. But cooking instructions follow the regional stereotype and only speak to women.

That was the starting point for Betty Crocker to become a champion of change. We had a way to reach millions of home chefs and let them know that the kitchen is for everyone-through our packaging. We created brand-new gender-neutral Arabic cooking instructions that addressed all cooks, regardless of gender. Over 20 million packs have the new instructions on them and are in the market spreading a message of equality in the kitchen.

Making every pack a symbol for change.

With Sultan at the core of our campaign, we spread the message of gender quality to schools, talk shows, cooking shows, influencers, news channels and on social media, opening eyes and sparking real conversation about equality in the kitchen.

#TheKitchenIsForEveryone campaign is now the key message for Ramadan. At a time when people are forced to be apart, Betty Crocker is reminding the world the we can still come together in the kitchen. Driven by various content pieces featuring Sultan and other influencers, the campaign is looking to further spread the message by challenging people to step into the kitchen and change the stereotype. Users are being encouraged not only to bake together, but to share those moments online using the hashtag #TheKitchenIsForEveryone. These moments will be reposted on the Betty Crocker page.

#TheKitchenIsForEveryone aims to start a movement that encourages all kinds of chefs to cook, and more importantly change an outdated stereotype.