I was saddened to learn that there were still products on the shelves with the m-word, but not shocked. My inbox has been so flooded for almost a year, that I haven’t even had to set a word alert on Google. In case it’s old news, I made this video last year, sent it off to Gedney Foods and was given a wonderful response: they would make a change to their labels.
Because this change is costly, I 100% agree that their current labels should be used and replaced with their new ones as soon as possible. Although not on our shelves yet, I’m assuming the Cains brand will offer something like this: With so many people asking, many of whom laugh about also being their town’s Crazy Pickle Lady, I write on. As I compile my notes, research and arguments for modifying labels, let me share some things that seem to be contingency points with companies who are less than willing to make changes. 1. The word you’re looking for is “small”. Why not just use it? 2. There is a precedent for product change and evolution- this is not a new concept- especially in the pickle/condiment division. For example: Aunt Jemima uses the same syrup, but the advertising has changed from a woman who tends to the “chilluns” and makes a breakfast to “happify” to a friendly woman in the upper corner of the box with the wording “Since 1889” written below. 3. A simple grammar lesson (that also applies to “babies”). I use the reference of Mt. Olive Pickles here because they are a company still hesitant to make change: Their Sweet Midgets use the m-word as a noun with sweet as the adjective. Let’s not argue they mean to use midget as an adjective… that would be two adjectives, no noun and makes less sense, as this jar doesn’t even say “pickles”… and the ‘s’ at the end of midget means it can only be a noun- since only nouns can be plural. The noun midget would mean a small human (A midget is not a small anything else).
What this jar says is “sweet people”. In all honesty, it’s false (and kind of gross) advertising. Again… what they mean is “small sweet pickles”, perhaps marketing should consider Petite Sweets? I think it has a better ring. 4. As some may know, there is classification of food (different fruits and vegetables) called the “midget” classification, but what many don’t know is that the USDA has been contacted to make a change and are listening with open ears. When the classification change is made, midget will become more widely recognized as discriminatory, and without the laurels to rest on considering it just a classification for different foods to be named. 5. “Midget pickles” which by many companies are already being changed to small, baby, mini (etc.) will no longer be scientifically or otherwise recognized by the Department of Agriculture due to the classification wording update, so why not be proactive and make a smart marketing decision before the change? 6. Slaves were slaves for years and years and years. And now slavery is abolished. Women were not allowed to vote for years and years and years. And now we can! People with mental health issues or severe genetic differences were once put in institutions for life and the practice continued for years and years and years. Now we know that’s inhumane. Changing with the times is not a new thought. Of course it’s expensive and time consuming, but great customer service is always worth more that that. Right?