Comments from the head of PepsiCo suggesting the company was looking into "designing and packaging" snacks like Doritos differently for women quickly garnered widespread backlash on social media.
"When you eat out of a flex bag — one of our single-serve bags — especially 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," PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said in an interview last month with WNYC's Freakonomics podcast. "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," she said. "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."
When asked by host Stephen Dubner if there was a "male and female version of chips that you're playing with," Nooyi responded, "It's not a male and female as much as 'are there snacks for women that can be designed and packaged differently?' Yes, we are looking at it, and we’re getting ready to launch a bunch of them soon.
"For women, low-crunch, the full taste profile, not have so much of the flavor stick on the fingers," she added. "And how can you put it in a purse? Because women love to carry a snack in their purse."
Nooyi has led PepsiCo since 2006 as the company's first female CEO.
PepsiCo later denied that it was launching Doritos specifically catered toward female customers.
“The reporting on a specific Doritos product for female consumers is inaccurate," PepsiCo told ABC News in a statement today. "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.”
While PepsiCo quickly denied that it was in the process of making Doritos catered for women, many took to social media following Nooyi's interview, slamming her comments as sexist.
The publishing company Random House even joined in, saying it doesn't support "Lady Doritos," but it is in favor of "the development of chips that leave less residue on your fingers."