It seems there's one thing women hate much more than a noisy chip – and that's being marketed special "lady" versions of their favourite products.
That's the lesson PepsiCo chief executive Indra Nooyi is learning this week after she told a podcast her company is developing female-friendly snacks, like chips that don't crunch too loudly.
Speaking to Freakonomics Radio hosts last Wednesday, Nooyi described the differences between how men and women eat chips thus:
"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 flavour, 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 flavour into their mouth."
Nooyi's solution to women's apparent discomfort with freely enjoying Doritos in public? Making less-crunchy, less finger-licking Doritos to market to women.
"It's not a male and female [version of the chip] as much as 'are there snacks for women that can be designed and packaged differently?'
"And 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 flavour stick on the fingers, and how can you put it in a purse? Because women love to carry a snack in their purse," she said.
However, the idea was not welcomed by women on social media.
Things I don't want:- Lady Bic pens- Lady whisk(e)y- Lady DoritosThings I want:- Lady President— jina loves you. jina needs a hug. (@jina) February 5, 2018
Thank god because my fragile, feminine, woman jaw just about breaks every time I have a normal dorito. By the time I finish a bag, I’ve already been to the hospital 17 times for a shattered lady mandible! It hurts my girlish dainty hands to type this out, but thank you Doritos! https://t.co/sJJ2HsCWYJ— em (@uhhmmily) February 5, 2018
If someone could get me some Lady Mountain Dew to drink (no burping ladies!) to go with my Lady Doritos while I oil my Lady Remington (pink oil y’all) inside of Lady Footlocker with my Lady Moonpies (no crumbs ladies) I would be really Lady Grateful— Brienne of Snark (@BrandoLauren) February 6, 2018
Some, including comedian Kathy Griffin, noted Nooyi has a point about women being expected to be quiet and not make a mess. Griffin just doesn't agree with her solution.
"This may seem silly to some folks but at one point or another most women are told that they're too loud, take up too much space, that we're too much," Griffin tweeted.
"If Doritos is actually doing this it'll just represent the BS women have had to deal with at home and at work."
This may seem silly to some folks but at one point or another most women are told that they're too loud, take up too much space, that we're too much. If Doritos is actually doing this it'll just represent the BS women have had to deal with at home and at work. #CrunchLouder https://t.co/ScaAD0Qf12— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) February 5, 2018
Others took the opportunity to loudly and defiantly share their love for Doritos, which is one positive the brand can take from the backlash to Nooyi's comments.
PepsiCo has since confirmed to Fairfax Media that the brand will not be launching a male and female version of Doritos.
"We already have Doritos for women – they're called Doritos, and they're enjoyed by millions of people every day," the company said in a statement. "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."