claire nuttall quote web

There’s been a rise in product launches targeted specifically at women or men both in the UK and in the US - including Kerry Foods’ Men’s Health range, Muscle Food protein pizzas, as well as the FITSHE range of fitness foods targeted at women - so it’s a great time to take a closer look at the potential for brands and ranges targeting a specific sex.

I know there is always much debate about whether highly gendered products work - or whether they should even exist in the first place - but personally I think the time could be right for more sex-specific brands.

Why? It comes down to health, really. Sex-specific solutions could make a really positive difference to the health of the nation. It’s not about alienating women or men with bright pink or black & silver packaging - it’s about genuinely delivering health benefits to individual sexes in areas where it matters.

With the whole movement towards personalised nutrition by brands such as DNA Fit - which links your genetics to what you should be eating - there’s an opportunity to help people better meet their individual health and nutrition needs, and to help manage potential diseases and health concerns in the long term. Targeted nutrition and healthfulness via the diet are inextricably linked to staying healthy, ageing well and enjoying life to the max.

Also, given the nation’s increasing obsession with health and convenient ways to stay healthy and happy on the go, we need to provide more solutions that genuinely work, rather than be just a catch-all for everyone and effective for just a few. Couldn’t that be achieved by being more specific and focused on different needs and benefit areas for men and women? After all, men have fundamentally different nutritional and dietary requirements to women.

Even in the world of medicine, when it comes to meeting differences between male and female genetics to prevent and manage diseases, the overreliance on male animals and cells in preclinical research is said to obscure key sex differences that could make all the difference to how drugs affect women versus men. Female-specific brands and ranges could therefore have great potential to work together with medicine.

And to be clear: single-sex brands of the future will not shout via a blokey or girly name; they will just focus on benefits delivered, with a look and feel that resonates and is discovered via social channels and influencers. They will seed and grow via trusted bloggers and aspirational influencers and recommendations online.

In essence, single gender brands will grow by just being seen to be the right choice.

Claire Nuttall is founder of The Brand Incubator