News and Features Editor
On Jan. 31, on an episode of the “Freakonomics Radio” podcast, the chief executive of PepsiCo Indra Nooyi was heard saying that women do not eat Doritos the same way as men.
“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,” she said.
Nooyi later said, “It’s not a male and female 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 flavor stick on the fingers, and how can you put it in a purse? Because women love to carry a snack in their purse.”
On Feb. 3 The Sun picked up the story and reported on the “Lady Doritos,” which quickly spread to other news sources writing stories on these rumored chips. Since then, PepsiCo released a statement clearing up the misunderstanding, “The reporting on a specific Doritos produce 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. 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.”
As for how Doritos plans to “evolve” is unknown. A spokesperson for Doritos was cited saying she cannot elaborate on details, but that in a few months she will be able to disclose the plans.
Until the public is made aware of future plans for PepsiCo, I would like to address some major concerns with Nooyi’s initial statement that sent the Internet into a frenzy. The idea that women do not want to “crunch too loudly in public,” “lick their fingers generously” or “pour the little broken pieces and the flavor into their mouth” is completely ludicrous. I’m sure I will not be the first to say that I have done all three of those things in public without giving a single thought to how I looked or how others perceived me in the moment.
And, why should I, as a woman, worry about eating differently than my male counterpart? There are millions of other things women should spend their time worrying about such as fixing the gender pay gap and climate change, ending world hunger and fighting sexual harassment, just to name a few. Spending brain capacity stressing over how loud a chip crunches is truly a waste of time and energy; there are much more pertinent problems to think about.
Second, the idea of creating a snack just “for women” is alarming. Segregating food based on gender only furthers the divide between men and women, exaggerating our differences and blowing them out of proportion. Not only that, but it reinforces stereotypes of women needing to be proper, quiet, always clean, pulled together and never sloppy.
It is time for society to recognize that the differences between men and women need not be more than biological. There’s no need to act differently, eat different, be paid differently, treated differently, etc. And so with that, I’m telling you to crunch a little louder and lick the flavor off every finger until they are clean, because after all, no one wants to waste any of the powder.