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Walk into any drugstore, and it's not hard to locate products for menstruation or pregnancy. But what about menopause? Aiming to make it easier for people to find what they need to support them as they go through perimenopause and menopause, British retailer Boots has launched a 'Menopause Friendly' symbol.
The symbol helps identify a wide range of products, from specially formulated skincare and haircare to supplements and over-the-counter hormone replacement therapy. It was developed in collaboration with Gen M, which bills itself as 'the menopause partner for brands.' More than straightforward signposting, the symbol is being used as an educational tool. Strategically placed in-store shelf markers highlight symptoms and prompt customers to consider changes they may have noticed, like "Eyes feeling dry and uncomfortable? It could be a sign of menopause."
That educational aspect isn't unwarranted. Unlike tampons or pregnancy tests, part of the issue with (peri)menopause is that people don't know what they're looking for. According to research by Gen M, 51% of menopausal women surveyed couldn't name more than 3 out of 48 possible symptoms. And 2 in 3 said they felt blindsided.
Recent years have seen menopause awareness grow as middle-aged Gen X-ers break with stigma and stereotypes. Companies are now racing to serve a market that's been vastly underserved — and an age group with far more disposable income than the youngest generations.
Opportunities for brands go beyond developing products and services that address the issues faced by menopausal people. The broader need is to ensure that everyone in this stage of life is seen, supported and informed. At Boots, for example, efforts aren't just customer-facing; the retailer was recently recognized as a Menopause Friendly Employer.
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