Pepsi CEO Says It’s Targeting Women With Doritos That Are Cleaner and Less Crunchy

Apparently, ladies need quiet snacks that don't make a mess

Doritos is catching flak after the PepsiCo CEO suggested the brand might start producing Doritos for women. Getty Images
Headshot of Sammy Nickalls

Are you a woman who’s always wished you could indulge in a nice snack, but you’re just too darn ashamed of eating something so loud that you may repulse potential male suitors? If so, you’re in luck, because PepsiCo is working on a new project that absolutely no one asked for: women-only snacks.

In an interview with Freakonomics, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said that while women “would love” to lick their fingers and pour Doritos chip crumbs into their mouths, they “don’t like to crunch too loudly in public” and “don’t like to pour the little broken pieces and the flavor into their mouth.”

When asked about “male and female version[s]” of chips, Nooyi clarified: “It’s not a male and female [scenario] 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.”

Just hours after the internet loved PepsiCo’s Super Bowl ad starring Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage in a rap battle, social media turned its focus toward the “ladies only” chips, with many users calling the move sexist and outdated.

Nooyi added that the considered factors include “low-crunch, the full taste profile, not have so much of the flavor stick on the fingers, and how can you put it in a purse?” After all, Nooyi added, “women love to carry a snack in their purse.” Women also really love being swept into one homologous group!

In response to a request for comment, a PepsiCo representative told Adweek that “the reporting on a specific Doritos product for female consumers is inaccurate,” despite Nooyi’s statement indicating otherwise.

“We already have Doritos for women—they’re called Doritos, and they’re enjoyed by millions of people every day,” the spokesperson added. “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.”

@sammynickalls Sammy Nickalls is a freelance writer and the former departments editor at Adweek.