No More 'Feminine Hygiene' Products in This Supermarket

NZ's Countdown chain will drop euphemisms, just use 'period' for tampons, pads, and menstrual cups
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2020 8:43 AM CDT

(Newser) – New Zealand shoppers annoyed at tap-dancing around the word "period" on menstrual products may want to start doing their shopping at Countdown: The Guardian reports that the supermarket chain will be nixing euphemistic terms such as "sanitary" and "feminine hygiene" on products like tampons, pads, and menstrual cups and simply using "period" instead. "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," Countdown rep Kiri Hannifin says in a statement. "They absolutely aren't, and we can play an important role in helping change that." Hannifin adds the decision came after hearing from customers and Countdown workers, and that young women especially want this reframing to call periods "exactly what they are," per Stuff.co.nz.

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Hannifin also says that Countdown is the first supermarket in the world to make this move to "period" wording, a change that had been in discussions for a few months. The Evening Standard notes the mainly positive reaction on social media to Countdown's announcement. "The level of euphemism we lived with and accept as normal is extraordinary when you think about it," one commenter marveled, while another hoped that other supermarkets would follow suit: "It's the 2020s, people!" The supermarket is also altering its terminology for incontinence products, now referring to them as "continence care" in order to "help break down the taboos and barriers that customers seeking out these products have, too, particularly men." Countdown's changes will go online starting Friday, while in-store products may take a bit longer to modify due to the quantity of inventory. (Read more menstruation stories.)

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