On January 31, Freakonomics published a radio interview with PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, who said that Doritos was developing chips for ladies. While men apparently enjoy licking their fingers “with great glee” and pouring crumbs into their mouths, Nooyi claims 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 flavor into their mouth.”
Though the CEO quickly clarified that the company wasn’t considering male and female versions of Doritos per se, the proposed gender-targeted snack almost instantly became a trending topic on the internet, even more so as people were stocking up for their Doritos-fueled Super Bowl parties. In the midst of #MeToo and other female-empowering movements, Nooyi’s remarks were met with great criticism and disapproval.
Though Nooyi indicated the products were right around the corner — “yes, we are looking at it, and we’re getting ready to launch a bunch of them soon,” she said in the interview — the public reaction to the idea seems to have given the company pause.
Doritos’ official Twitter account released a short statement on February 5 that said: “We already have Doritos for women — they’re called Doritos, and they’re loved by millions.”
Pepsi’s corporate office said the same thing with a little extra context.
“The reporting on a specific Doritos product for female consumers is inaccurate. We already have Doritos for women — they’re called Doritos, and they’re enjoyed by millions of people every day,” a company spokesperson told The Daily Meal. “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.”
It’s unclear at this time whether Nooyi misspoke in her interview with Freakanomics, but she was not misquoted, as there is an audio recording of the conversation. But we can speculate that an official “Lady Doritos” launch is not on the horizon. For more big-time debacles, check out these 10 times Applebee’s, Friday’s and 7 other chains really messed up.