She screams, tears rolling down her cheek. Standing in her badly lit kitchen, she backs away from the table. Her chest is heaving. She can hear people rushing downstairs. Reaching for a glass of water, she tries to compose herself, but can barely steady her hand. She brushes Chili Heatwave flavouring off her sleeve, still shaking from the impact of the crunch.
Her father walks in, concern on his face.
She points at the table.
This is the fate that befalls women across the world as they struggle with the texture, messiness, and size of the corn chip. At least, that’s according to PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, who announced an end to male-orientated crisps last week in an interview on the Freakonomics podcast.
On the show, Nooyi explained that the company was developing a new brand of Doritos for women, featuring a “low-crunch,” “full taste profile,” and none of the unladylike flavouring that “stick[s] on the fingers.” The thinking behind these new crisps, she explained, is that women “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 flavour into their mouth.” Unsurprisingly, the news of “Lady Doritos” didn’t go down too well with the internet.
Doritos has now been forced to clarify its position on gendered snacks, releasing a statement in response to the online backlash.
According to an article in the New York Times, PepsiCo has claimed that the comments from Nooyi were misunderstood. “The reporting on a specific Doritos product for female consumers is inaccurate,” the company said in a statement on Monday. “We already have Doritos for women—they’re called Doritos, and they’re enjoyed by millions of people every day. At the same time, we know needs and preferences continue to evolve, and we’re always looking for new ways to engage and delight our consumers.”
When asked what Nooyi meant by “snacks for women that can be designed and packaged differently,” the spokesperson declined to comment.
Might be best to stick to the Yogi Tea and Activia for now ladies, until this is all cleared up.