Dear Oui French Style Yogurt from Yoplait,
Is it okay that I addressed you by your formal name? I’m not sure on the proper etiquette when writing to dairy-based products.
Anyway, I don’t know what kind of crazy market research you did. But since you’re owned by Yoplait, I suspect it was extensive and expensive. Well, guess what? It worked. I don’t even like yogurt that much, but when I spotted you in the dairy aisle at my local supermarket, I was powerless to resist you. How did you know so much about moms like me? It makes me a little uncomfortable.
For example, how did you know …
We spend a lot of time feeling guilty about our overconsumption of plastic.
My supermarket has started wrapping individual peppers in plastic wrap. Did I stop buying them? No, because they’re one of the only vegetables my son will eat.
Then there’s the individually wrapped string cheese, all those fruit squeezes and, yes, the tiny plastic containers of yogurt. And certain moms — the ones I suspect you’re targeting — feel really guilty. We know we’re ruining our planet and our children’s future with SO MUCH PLASTIC.
But where are the alternatives? Oh, it’s you!
You, with your little glass jar, making us feel all optimistic about our children’s future!
Even if it’s only in our own heads, you represent the path forward.
You are evidence that we don’t have to give up big brands or mass consumerism to move in the right direction. Even if everything else we see, hear and read tells a different story, you help us lie to ourselves because you know it helps us sleep better. And damnit, if there’s one thing we need, it’s more sleep. But you know that, too!
You also know the phrase “French Style” speaks to our deep insecurity that French women are better than us.
Maybe in your research you came across books like French Women Don’t Get Fat or Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting … or the thousands of other books, blogs, articles and podcasts out there with the sole purpose of convincing moms like me that if we could just be more French, everything would be better.
Well, we may not have their innate ability to tie a scarf “just so,” their effortless parenting style that somehow produces children who happily eat vichyssoise (or at the very least don’t cry if their food “touches”) or their uncomplicated relationship with bread. But, by God, we can have their yogurt! And that’s something. You get that.
Finally, you have expertly tapped our delusional brand of nostalgia.
Whether real or imagined, we all have a past where we stood next to our grandmother as she jarred her own jam. And we imagine a future where we’ll do the same: We’ll start a winter garden! We’ll finally use that yogurt strainer we bought on Amazon! We’ll learn to sew! But in the meantime, buying you will do. And you know that.
So in conclusion, nicely played, Oui. Short of having Ryan Gosling himself handing out free samples, I’m not sure what more you could have done to win us over. And by the way, your yogurt also happens to be delicious. Plus, I was happy to see I could pronounce all the ingredients. Because as I know you also surely know, that’s a thing with moms like us.*
* You know, the kind of moms who subscribe to Real Simple magazine, obsess about Lyme disease, do Pilates (or at least dress like they’re about to) and have a complicated relationship with Amazon.