Doritos backtracks on 'lady-friendly', less crunchy chip plans

Close up of woman eating nachos/corn chips seen from side with white background
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Popular snack brand Doritos has backtracked over plans to develop a 'Lady Doritos'.

PepsiCo global chief executive Indra Nooyi told Freakonomics Radio the company is preparing to launch a range of new products targeted to women, who didn't want loud crunchy chips or to lick their fingers.

 "You watch a lot of the young guys eat the chips, they love their Doritos, and they lick their fingers with great glee, and when they reach the bottom of the bag they pour the little broken pieces into their mouth, because they don't want to lose that taste of the flavour," 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.

"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."

However her comments drew an angry backlash from feminists who saw the idea as demeaning.

But PepsiCo now says it was a misunderstanding.

"The reporting on a specific Doritos product for female consumers is inaccurate," the company said in a statement on Monday (local time).

"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 a spokesperson for the company told The New York Times that something else targeting women could be in the works.

"I can't yet give any more details beyond what Indra relayed in the podcast," she said.

"However, I will be able to in a few months."