News, Culture & Society

Australian women praise New Zealand Countdown supermarket for cosmetics sign change

Sign of the times: Why women are praising this product list in a Woolworths supermarket aisle

  • Women are thrilled about a change to signage in New Zealand supermarkets
  • Sanitary products are now marked under a different name in Countdown stores
  • One mum said she is ‘so happy’ her daughters will grow up in a progressive era

A simple addition to aisle signage in New Zealand supermarkets has won praise from many women.

A mother shared a photo to a Facebook community group of an aisle in a Woolworths-owned Countdown store, showing ‘Period Care’ being listed alongside other familiar categories.

The mum said she was happy her young daughters will grow up in an era where big brands are normalising the word ‘period’, which has historically been stigmatised and kept off packaging – usually replaced with the vague term ‘sanitary products’.

It may be a necessary biological process, but menstruation is still regarded as a ‘dirty’ condition and had long been a taboo in advertising.

In this Woolworths-owned Countdown store somewhere in New Zealand, sanitary products are labelled ‘Period Care’

‘It makes me so happy that my girls will be less likely to think that ‘period’ is a dirty word, because a supermarket can use the ACTUAL WORDS rather than cryptic clues like ‘sanitary products’. Progress,’ the mother wrote on Facebook. 

Her photo, which has racked up 594 like since it was uploaded Tuesday morning,  has sparked approving responses with comments including ‘fantastic’, ‘awesome’ and ‘this is great’.

‘Plain English for the win,’ one woman replied.

‘That is so wonderful,’ added another.

A third said she ‘cringes so badly’ when she hears alternative names for periods and was delighted to see the straightforward wording.

Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s General Manager for Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability, told Daily Mail Australia the signs were changed in June in an effort to normalise language around periods and continence.

‘Words like ‘personal hygiene’ and ‘sanitary products’ give the impression that periods – which are an entirely natural part of life – are somehow something to hide to yourself, or that they’re unhygienic,’ Ms Hannifin said.

‘They absolutely aren’t, and we can play an important role in helping change that.’

Ms Hannifin said the move to rename ‘sanitary products’ as ‘period care’ had been met with ‘really positive feedback’ from customers.

On Facebook, many have called on Australian Woolworths outlets to follow suit.

But Woolworths Group public relations manager Will Lehnertz confirmed there are no plans to roll out the same change across the Tasman just yet.