Holland & Barrett slammed over 'menopause almond' chocolate bar that is 'insulting' to women

27 May 2024, 15:41

Menopause campaigner Kate Muir slammed the bars as a “ridiculous money-making product”
Menopause campaigner Kate Muir slammed the bars as a “ridiculous money-making product”. Picture: Alamy

By Will Conroy

Holland & Barrett has faced backlash over its “insulting” chocolate bar that it describes as containing “menopause almonds”.

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The health food shop claims the dark chocolate snack helps to ease menopause symptoms and “contributes to the regulation of hormonal activity”, according to The Daily Mail.

The packaging boasts of the product’s vitamin B6 which it claims results in these benefits, despite vitamin B6 being naturally present in almonds.

The Holland & Barrett website describes the product as a “treat that will satisfy your tastebuds and support your mood”.

It adds: “Satisfy those chocolate cravings with our indulgent bar. Rich, dark chocolate is paired with crunchy almonds to create a tasty combo.”

Each bar contains the full daily allowance of fat for women, according to its packaging.
Each bar contains the full daily allowance of fat for women, according to its packaging. Picture: Holland & Barrett website

However, menopause campaigner Kate Muir slammed the chocolate bars as a “ridiculous money-making product”.

She said: “I feel very strongly that this is exploiting a vulnerable group of women who deserve much better than they’d get from a chocolate bar.“Hopefully [women] won’t be distracted by ridiculous money-making products like this.”

After describing the snack as “nuts”, Ms Muir insisted that “joking aside”, hormone deficiency is a “very serious” problem.

She said: “There is a peak in suicide among women in perimenopause. Women need to know they can go to the NHS and get proper help, rather than relying on chocolate bars.”

Each bar contains a quarter of the daily allowance of calories for women and the full daily allowance of fat, according to its packaging.

Despite this, instructions on the packaging say each 75g bar contains “one daily dose”, adding: ‘We suggest splitting it in two and having one half in the morning and one in the evening.’

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Holland & Barrett states that the bars contain saffron extract, branded as “affron” yet, according to the Daily Mail, this was tested in one small 2021 trial, which its makers sponsored, and no effect on physical menopause symptoms was identified.

A reviewer wrote on the Holland & Barrett website: ‘I don’t know why this is marketed as menopause chocolate, but nevertheless I bought it. It was ok, but no better than any other chocolate, and not even as nice as a leading organic chocolate at the same price point. Expensive for what it is and poor value for money.’

Another customer took to social media to brandish the bars as “insulting to the female race” while a different user re-labelled the product as “depression support almonds for men”, adding: “Do you think they’ll be duped into buying it?”

The Holland & Barrett website says the product "will satisfy your tastebuds and support your mood”.
The Holland & Barrett website says the product "will satisfy your tastebuds and support your mood”. Picture: Alamy

A Holland & Barrett spokesperson said the health food chain champions “greater awareness and education on menopause and menstrual health”, and listed several initiatives it has implemented to support women.

The spokesperson added: “Our Almonds in Dark Chocolate with Benefits Bar is delicious dark chocolate with affron, a clinically studied extract, which helps to support moods during menopause and contains vitamin 6 to help the regulation of hormonal activity.

“It is recommended to be consumed as part of a balanced and varied diet alongside a healthy lifestyle, giving women a choice to reach for a snack with added benefits.”

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