Sweet Peach generated a lot of attention last week but for, unfortunately, the wrong reasons. Founder and CEO Audrey Hutchinson clarified that the probiotic supplement is aimed at promoting optimal health by balancing microbe levels in the body, addressing issues like yeast and urinary tract infections.
It works by letting women swab for vaginal micriobiome samples, which are then sent to a lab for analysis. After assessing a woman's microbiome makeup, Sweet Peach then provides her with a probiotic supplement regimen to instill balance in the body. By creating balance, bad bacteria won't be able to gain a foothold in the body and cause conditions like yeast or urinary tract infections.
"This way people don't have to go to clinics, or pay to see a doctor. It's an affordable way for women to have agency in their reproductive health," explained Hutchinson.
The confusion arose when Austen Heinz presented at the DEMO conference alongside Gilad Gome. Heinz has a 10 percent stake in Sweet Peach while Gome has no involvement at all in the company. The two, however, are partners in launching a different probiotic product called Petomics. Heinz wrote in Sweet Peach into his presentation when he was told he'll get more time on the floor while Gome simply latched on, talking about Sweet Peach as if it was his own.
It was then that trouble began because it was Gome who said that Sweet Peach products function to introduce desirable scents into the body, making a woman's vagina smell like, well, sweet peaches.
Sweet Peach's name is actually a reference to the way peaches are used as to symbolize vaginas in literature and nothing at all to do with smelling like one.
"I don't think women should have vaginas that smell like peaches or anything like that. I'm obviously sort of appalled that it's been misconstrued like this because it was never the point of my company ... I want to apologize to every woman in the world who's heard about this and wants my head on a stake," said Hutchinson.
Heinz has since apologized to Hutchinson for talking about Sweet Peach before the time was right but maintains that the controversy will have a positive effect on the company as it stokes interest.
Unfortunately for him, that stunt he pulled with Gome had a negative effect on him. His company Cambrian Genomics had successfully raised $10 million thanks to seed funding. However, that amount could've been higher had investors not pulled out.
"The implication is that Cambrian is a sexist organization who think women's vaginas smell bad," said Heinz.