Hearing the words “Lady Doritos” made many women cringe.
It all began when Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, said in an interview that women and men eat chips differently. Pointing out that men “lick their fingers with great glee”, 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 flavour into their mouth.”
Getting on with the interview, the Freakonomics host Stephen Dubner asked Nooyi if her company is developing a “male and female version of chips” to which Nooyi responded, “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 flavour stick on the fingers, and how can you put it in a purse? Because women love to carry a snack in their purse.”
On Sunday, British tabloid The Sun interpreted the interview to deduce that Doritos was, indeed, launching “Lady Doritos” and overnight, Lady Doritos became a real thing...on the media and internet. Newspapers, websites and social media users all resorted to their respective outlets to rage against the idea.
Ellen DeGeners, in the video below, was shocked as she wondered, “All this time I’ve been eating man chips?!...I missed this march. What do we want? Quiet chips! When do we want it? Now!”
Doritos had to issue a public statement that said, “The reporting on a specific Doritos product 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.”
But that wasn’t the entire apology. Watch Jimmy Fallon addressing it in the video below.
It was the women on social media who really won the day, however. And they certainly helped ensure that Lady Doritos never, ever, becomes a real thing.