Doritos plans to launch a “lady-friendly” version of their classic chip product sometime in the near future.
Indra Nooyi, CEO of Dorito’s parent company: PepsiCo, believes the product will help women who don’t like to make a mess or chew loudly when eating the crunchy chips.
“Women…don’t like to crunch too loudly in public” Nooyi said in an interview with Freakonomics Radio. “They don’t lick their fingers generously and they don’t like to pour the little broken pieces and the flavor into their mouth.”
In an article for Fortune.com, author Beth Kowitt says that the PepsiCo company also plans to redesign the packaging of the snack to appeal to women as well as make the chip bag small enough to be put in a woman’s purse.
Doritos’ change in marketing angered some women. These women took to twitter to voice their opinions about the product.
women: give us equal pay
the world: look, a KFC female colonel!
women: we said equal pay
the world: doritos won't crunch anymore!!!
women: EQUAL PA-
the world: have you tried "BIC PENS FOR HER"??
— Ali Vingiano (@alivingiano) February 5, 2018
Good news, ladies. We got a female Colonel Sanders and Doritos that don’t crunch, so feminism is cancelled. We’ve achieved equality.
— OhNoSheTwitnt (@OhNoSheTwitnt) February 5, 2018
Has anyone at Doritos ever met a lady
— Danielle Sepulveres (@ellesep) February 5, 2018
In the midst of movements like #MeToo, one would think that a company with massive brand recognition and a huge following would be a little more sensitive, especially when dealing with an issue like gender equality.
Despite all the backlash, I can’t help but feel this is a missed opportunity for Doritos. The idea of a no-mess, less crunchy and portable chip bag is something that can be very useful. I imagine the disruptive student in the back of a lecture hall loudly crunching a day-time snack can be a thing of the past. Or the employee at his or her cubicle trying to get work done without getting Dorito dust on the keyboard. The decision to market the product to women, with a slogan that it is “lady-friendly,” is where PepsiCo’s marketing team lost track. They made a product that could have been very useful and tried to make it an innovation in gendered products. It is no wonder the product was met with such criticism before the product was even launched.
PepsiCo’s marketing team tried something new but couldn’t land on its feet. Here’s to hoping they can come to their senses.