(UPDATE: A PepsiCo spokesperson said Monday night that there are no plans for a special Dorito for women.)
PepsiCo is considering a quieter Dorito for women because “they don’t like to crunch too loudly in public,” its CEO said in an interview.
The chat for an episode of Freakonomics Radio was supposed to be about how CEO Indra Nooyi – yes, she’s a woman – took on the job just as the economy crashed and society decided junk food equals death.
Then the interviewer asked her about how men and women eat chips differently.
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Her response: “ … as you watch a lot of the young guys eat the chips, they love their Doritos, and they lick their fingers with great glee, and when they reach the bottom of the bag they pour the little broken pieces into their mouth, because they don’t want to lose that taste of the flavor, and the broken chips in the bottom.
“Women would love to do the same, but they don’t. They don’t like to crunch too loudly in public. And they don’t lick their fingers generously and they don’t like to pour the little broken pieces and the flavor into their mouth.”
Nooyi went on to explain PepsiCo was preparing to unveil chips that were packaged differently to appeal to women.
“For women, low-crunch, the full-taste profile, not have so much of the flavor stick on the fingers, and how can you put it in a purse? Because women love to carry a snack in their purse,” Nooyi said.
By Monday, “Lady Doritos” was trending on Twitter.
The Guardian said Lady Doritos solved a problem that doesn’t exist. In the article, a marketing strategist said it was a PR stunt that would fail because it paints women as the problem.
“Lots of food and drink manufacturers have tried this,” Tracey Follows told The Guardian. “We’ve seen beer for women, and things like that, and it very often doesn’t work because it feels so specifically targeted that it’s a bit patronizing.”
Twitter users agreed.
The Doritos official Twitter page had not addressed the controversy as of Monday afternoon.