PepsiCo faced a controversy of its own creation this week after company chief executive Indra Nooyi suggested that the company was compiling a Doritos product just for women.
In the history of marketing, rarely has a ‘just for women’ product went down a treat with consumers, take the Bic lady pen or the Seat’s lady car for instance. As such, when Nooyi suggested on the Freakonomics podcast that the company was looking into producing effete potato chips for the fairer gender, a backlash ensued.
Nooyi cited market research that in general saw that men had no qualms about noisily blasting a bag of Doritos down, engorging the dust and licking their fingers, however, she added that while women like indulging in this behavior they often don’t. She 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 flavor into their mouth."
The suggestions were widely mocked online, the idea that the chips would be silent took on a malevolent turn.
The only good thing about the new quiet “Lady Doritos” is now they can’t hear us coming pic.twitter.com/irMRblNDP4
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) February 5, 2018
On the launch of new products, Nooyi said: “We are looking at it, and we're getting ready to launch a bunch of them soon."
“The reporting on a specific Doritos product for female consumers is inaccurate," they said.
"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."