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The rise and fall of “Lady Doritos”

February 9, 2018

Photo Courtesy of Slate.com

For a brief period of time last week, millions believed that there would be a new wave of snacks on the market – snacks made specifically for women. On January 31, the CEO of PepsiCo, the company that owns Doritos, said in a podcast interview that women eat chips differently and that a new line of chips made specifically for women was in the works.

Indra Nooyi, the CEO, explained that women are looking for something less messy and crunchy when it comes to consuming Doritos, and that “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 went on to describe how a new product aimed at women would be small enough to fit into a purse and would be low crunch but high flavor.

Very soon after this podcast was released, many listeners were outraged, and the idea overall garnered very poor reception. The potential products were compared to the gendered pens, “Bic for Her” that were recently on the market and received negative attention as well. One Twitter user, @uhhmmily, responded to the idea of Doritos for women with “Thank god because my fragile, feminine, woman jaw just about breaks every time I have a normal Dorito.” Popular writer and host, Ben Shapiro tweeted in response to the “Lady Doritos” news, commenting on the concept of Doritos for women and the pay wage gap that women in the workforce experience, saying “Lady Doritos only have 77 percent the crunch of regular Doritos.”

On the Monmouth College campus, several students also had strong opinions about the potential of gendered snacks. Senior Antonetta Axup expressed that she did not understand the need for “lady Doritos,” and that the idea was, in short, ridiculous. Mackenzie Fletcher, a sophomore, said, “If Doritos thinks there is a problem for the women eating their chips, they should just change the whole product, not make a special one.”

Many others took to Twitter, blogs, and other social media platforms to voice their concerns and complaints about the potential new product before PepsiCo released a follow-up statement on Tuesday, February 6. The company claimed that the statements made by Nooyi were misconstrued and that PepsiCo does not have plans to create a line of snacks specifically for women. A spokesperson for PepsiCo told Forbes on Tuesday that, “The reporting on a specific Doritos product for female consumers is inaccurate” and Doritos’ Twitter account tweeted on Monday, “We already have Doritos for women – they’re called Doritos, and they’re loved by millions.” This shut down the suspicion that this product may have potential to hit shelves at some point.

Kaelin Sommer
News Editor

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