Product range

3 November 2022

Zipfelmensch combating homophobia: “Customers want to know what we stand for”

Every year, PENNY takes a stand for more tolerance with its Zipfelmensch chocolate figure. PENNY COO Stefan Görgens discusses the background.
Reading time: 3 min.

The figure already has cult status. Since 2006, PENNY has been standing up for humanity and solidarity with its Zipfelmann (pointed hat man). This year, the figure was renamed Zipfelmensch (pointed hat person) for even greater inclusivity. PENNY COO Dr Stefan Görgens explains why PENNY is taking a stance with this chocolate figure and the intended message of the Zipfelmensch in a World Cup year.

Why did PENNY first launch the Zipfelmensch a few years back?

Stefan Görgens: At PENNY, we stand for an open and tolerant society. That’s why, in 2010, we added the chocolate figure, which at the time we called the Zipfelmann, to our range. Recently, we turned the ‘man’ into a ‘person’ to include everyone in the message. With this year’s version of the Zipfelmensch, we are taking a stand against homophobia in football and the wider world of sport with the “Join Team Love” motto. Of the 1.49 euro retail price, PENNY is donating 0.20 euros to the Bundestiftung Magnus Hirschfeld, a foundation that fights against the discrimination of homosexuality in German society, for the project “Fußball für Vielfalt” (Football for Diversity). It is worth pointing out that the Zipfelmensch is not intended as a replacement for Santa Claus.

Dr. Stefan Görgens

has been the COO of PENNY Germany since 1 October 2022.

Why are you focusing on homophobia in sport this year?

Stefan Görgens: Sadly, homophobia runs deep through football and the rest of the sporting world. Our response to that is, the ball is round, the world is varied. That’s why, this year, we are campaigning, with our Zipfelmensch, for greater tolerance and open-mindedness in sport. Especially now, when all eyes are once again on the highlight of the football calendar, the World Cup in Qatar, a country where homosexuality is illegal.

Why is PENNY standing up for such social and political issues? To put it bluntly, is this the job of a discount supermarket chain?

Stefan Görgens: We see ourselves as the neighbourhood discount supermarket. Therefore, we consider it appropriate to take part in topical discussions and make our position clear. I believe that our customers want to know what we stand for and our values. Time and again, we have had the courage to address socially sensitive issues. We will continue to do so as it is part of our culture and our identity.