Advancing the Value of Ethnography

Change the Category, Change the World: How Research and Great Storytelling Drove a Headline-Making World First for Supermarkets


Cite this article:

2021 EPIC Proceedings p 335, ISSN 1559-8918,

PechaKucha Presentation—The butterfly effect – a small change that has big ripples. This is what Jennie Leng created when she persuaded NZ’s largest supermarket to change its language from “sanitary products”.

Phrases like “sanitary products” and “feminine hygiene” are ubiquitous around the world, but these euphemisms have connotations of dirtiness, and perpetuate the idea that menstruation is embarrassing and shameful. Jennie used context, anecdotes and quantitative research to build a case for the supermarket to change their language – and they went for it! Countdown Supermarkets now uses the phrase “period care” in all of its digital channels and have rolled the label out in store. Because if you can have skin care and hair care, why not period care?

In this PechaKucha, Jennie will touch on the types of evidence and the framing she used to influence the business, and the world-first, headline-making outcomes of this change.

Jennie Leng is a New Zealander, mother-of-3 and currently GM of Digital at Bendon Lingerie. A champion of Design Thinking, Jennie’s expertise is in digital strategy, digital product design and research. Jennie’s industry experience includes retail, travel, finance and telecommunications. She helps businesses become more human-centred through data, research and “bringing the outside in”. She is the author of New Zealand’s Design Maturity Benchmark.