Every June, we wait with bated breath for brands to start showing their support for Pride. It’s not that we don’t want them to stand up for LGBTQ+ rights, it’s just that more often than not, they totally biff it. This year, for example, we’ve already seen questionable moves from Burger King and Postmates. But we’ve also seen other brands improving, directing actual money toward worthy causes all year round (not just in June) and centering queer voices in their campaigns. Still, rainbow packaging takes over the grocery aisles every summer, and this year I’ve found myself noticing another strange detail in brands’ ongoing quest to perfect their allyship: Pride flavors.
Based on this year’s offerings, there seem to be some unspoken agreements among brands as to what kinds of flavors represent the entire gay community.
Savory snacks are for straight people, apparently, because the Pride lineup of treats really focuses on sweet flavors. Pop-Tarts jumped on the Pride bandwagon for the first time ever this year with its Limited Edition NEON Pink Block Party Lemonade Pop-Tarts. These babies are pink (that’s a theme, keep an eye out) lemonade flavored and each one features a colorful illustration from Thaddeus Coates right on the frosting—points for creativity there.
In many cases, fruit flavors are providing that sweetness, like in Kellogg’s heart-shaped GLAAD Together with Pride cereal, Colectivo’s Pride Blend coffee, and Kiva’s Camino Tropical Punch “Pride” Gummies.
Somewhat related, though not fruit-flavored, is Shake Shack’s lineup of Pride shakes, each of which emulates a type of cookie. The brand comes right out and says that it associates sweetness with Pride in its ad campaign: “Together is sweeter.”
Samuel Adams comes to the table with a “pink = Pride” mentality in its ads for Love Conquers Ale beer. “This welcoming wheat ale features hints of yuzu for bright citrus notes and prickly pear to create a bold, pinkish hue that captures the joy and expression of PRIDE.” At the very least, I tip my hat to the brewery for coming up with what sounds like a delicious new product.
House Wine and Barefoot, on the other hand, both simply slapped a rainbow label on their existing sparkling rosés, because... pink! Even Absolut Vodka, a famously colorless liquid that could be turned into anything, leans into featuring pink cocktails in its Out & Open campaign.
Maybe next year brands will explore the savory and salty sides of the queer experience. (And for the love of god, just ditch pink altogether.) But until then, we can at least take comfort in the fact that all these products actually do sound like they taste good, and blessedly, none of these companies took a cue from rainbowless Skittles. Nothing sounds less appetizing than rainbowless Skittles.