In Depth

Doritos announces new bag of crisps just for women

PepsiCo boss believes females are too demure for oversized bags and loud crunch

In a move that has left many people checking whether the date is 1 April, Doritos has announced plans for crisps specially designed for women.

The triangular-shaped crisps will be made “less crunchy, will be smaller in size and the packet is being specifically designed to fit inside a handbag,” says The Independent.

The surprising development came during an interview with PepsiCo’s global chief executive Indra Nooyi on Freakanomics Radio.

“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, because they don’t want to lose that taste of the flavour, and the broken chips in the bottom,” Nooyi, said.

“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.”

When Freakonomics asked Nooyi if PepsiCo was playing around with the idea of creating “a male and female version of chips,” Nooyi said the company was.

“It’s not a male and female [version] as much as, ‘Are there snacks for women that can be designed and packaged differently?’”, Nooyi said.

“And yes, we are looking at it, and we’re getting ready to launch a bunch of them soon.”

This is not the first time Nooyi has talked about developing snacks for women. When she spoke to Fortune last year, Nooyi said it was a category she felt was “ripe for disruption”:

“You want something that fits in your bag, but that doesn’t break or clutter your bag. Or when you open it’s not stuck with your memo pad and pen and all that stuff. You want it to be pristine for 2 o’clock when you’re hungry. What is a purse-friendly snack that doesn’t stick to the teeth?”

Rather predictably Nooyi has provoked ire with her comments online, with a spokesperson from the Women’s Equality Party saying: “No doubt some male consumers will welcome the chance to have a bigger package. But the idea of shrinking products for women, no doubt for the same price, is as old as the Ad Men making these decisions.

“Companies that perpetuate these tired gender stereotypes will continue to lose out on the single biggest consumer group: women.”

The term “Lady Doritos” trended on Twitter almost immediately following the interview with a number of women pointing out the proposal’s problems.

Despite Nooyi's comments, a spokesperson for PepsiCo told The Independent: “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.”

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