Bacardi has apologized following backlash against its new vodka line, after promotional materials marketed it as ‘for women, by women.’
On August 1, the alcohol brand is set to debut Plume & Petal, a line of three new vodkas that are lower in alcohol, lower-calorie, and made ‘for today’s modern woman, intended to be enjoyed with other women.’
But after Food & Wine restaurant editor Khushbu Shah shared an email pitch for the product she received in her inbox, Twitter users expressed frustration, annoyance, and rage over the unnecessarily gendered language.
On sale soon: Bacardi will debut Plume & Petal in the US on August 1; the line includes three vodkas that are lower in alcohol and calories
Marketing: A pitch from a PR agency describes the drink as ‘for today’s modern woman, intended to be enjoyed with other women’
Uh-oh: Food & Wine restaurant editor Khushbu Shah shared a screengrab and complained about ‘gendered drinks’
Shah shared a screengrab of the pitch she received on Twitter on July 15.
The pitch describes Plume & Petal as ‘Bacardi Limited’s first spirit designed by women, for today’s modern woman, intended to be enjoyed with other women.’
The three ‘spa-inspired’ spirits ‘a delicate infusion of fruit, botanicals, tea, and a hint of honey, while distinctively containing half the alcohol of a standard vodka.’
‘Ah yes just what I need in 2020! gendered drinks with half the alcohol,’ Shah wrote.
Others have shared their own critical takes, calling it ‘terrible,’ ‘wrong,’ ‘ill-informed,’ and ‘sexist.’
‘AAAAARRRGGGHHH! OMG this gives me proper, proper rage. They’ve tried this crap with beers over here loads and it has, rightly, crashed & burned every time. And don’t even start me on the “Skinny” brands,’ wrote one.
Yikes: Commenters are calling it ‘terrible,’ ‘wrong,’ ‘ill-informed,’ and ‘sexist’
‘“Delicate” “spa-inspired” “infusion of fruit” “today’s modern woman” “half the ___” – this ad copy is from a Crystal Light ad from 1995. How far we’ve come,’ wrote another.
‘Are We back in the 50’s? Women don’t need ‘feminine’ alcoholic beverages that imply feathers & flowers, with half the alcohol of vodka. Just Whom did Bacardi poll, to get This idea?’ tweeted another.
‘Today’s modern woman is doing shots of cask-strength whiskey to get through the day. Or maybe that’s just me…’ quipped one more.
Some were particularly thrown off that the product is lower in alcohol than regular vodka, and the confusing implication that women in particular want that.
‘Definitely need allll the alcohol, and none of the gendered lingo. yikes,’ wrote one.
When reached for comment about the backlash, a spokesperson for Bacardi Limited told Metro.co.uk that they are proud of the product but not the gendered language.
Whoops: Bacardi said in a statement that they are proud of the product but not the use of gendered language
‘Shelley Menze, our Senior Beverage Scientist, set out to redefine the drink experience for her and her friends when hosting them at home,’ the spokesperson said
‘Shelley Menze, our Senior Beverage Scientist, set out to redefine the drink experience for her and her friends when hosting them at home,’ the spokesperson said.
Flavors: The vodka comes in Cucumber Splash, Peach Wave, and Lemon Drift
‘What started out as a personal, passion project turned into a unique brand that addresses a broader demand for low calorie, low-alcohol alternatives.
‘That being said, we are aware of the conversations on social media around the use of gendered language in a pitch. We’re not proud of that, but we are proud of the female creators behind this product — unfortunately, a rarity in this industry — and we are proud of this great tasting drink.’
Plume & Petal was initially set to hit shelves in April, but the release appears to have been pushed back a bit due to the pandemic.
It comes in three flavors: Cucumber Splash (cucumber, lemongrass and chamomile teas, a hint of honey), Peach Wave (white peach, lavender and black teas, a hint of honey), and Lemon Drift (lemon, elderflower and white teas, a hint of honey).
Crafted with 100 per cent American grain vodka that is distilled six times, each flavor as 20 per cent ABV, compared to the usual vodka 40 per cent ABV.
Each 1.5 fl. oz. serving has 83 calories and 8.2g carbs.