Cult ice-cream store Pidapipo under fire for gendered ice-cream

Article by Cara Waters /
The Age /
October 02, 2017  /
Click here to view original  /

Pidapipo Gelateria has deleted an Instagram post launching gendered ice-cream flavours after coming under fire on social media.

The cult gelateria, which has stores in Carlton and Windsor, launched the flavours in a collaboration with online fashion retailers Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter.

“Here are two gelato popsicles we’ve created. One for men and one for women. For men? Salted caramel with milk chocolate & malt crumb. For women? Strawberry rose with white choc & raspberry dust. Even better together.”

The post was deleted after attracting negative comments on social media including “so tone deaf” and “OF COURSE the women get a pink fruity one. I’m shocked the men’s isn’t rum or some s—“.

Melbourne University School of Social and Political Sciences lecturer, Dr Lauren Rosewarne, says the gendering of ice-cream is unnecessary. 

“[But], it’s perfectly in line with a long history of the gendering of bizarre products like pens and razors which have been gendered purely for marketing reasons,” she says. “In the context of cuisine, the rise of ‘dude food’ is probably the best example of this.”

Rosewarne also questions the flavours chosen. 

“The linking of sweet and floral flavours to women and salty and dark flavours to men is harmless but is also reliant on old-fashioned stereotypes that really don’t have a place in the world of ice-cream,” she says. “The marketing strategy thus comes across as a little old hat, rather than modern or savvy.”

A spokesperson for Pidapipo says the gelateria was engaged to design gelato that represented the Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter brands.

“The intent was not to create a gelato to be consumed by one specific gender they were for the enjoyment of all the guests while clearly representing the unique Mr Porter and Net-a-Porter brands,” the spokesperson said.

“They deleted the post because there was clearly some confusion about the intent of the collaboration which they apologise for. They are a company that create gelato to be enjoyed by everyone and if their post gave the wrong impression to their fans they are sorry.”