Lady Doritos
Mock Lady Doritos design. Photo: Twitter/ Mockeree

Lady Doritos — Doritos for ladies. If you haven’t already heard the news, let me fill you in.

 

During a recent interview with Freakonomics Radio, Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo (which owns subsidiary Frito-Lay, which, in turn, produces Doritos), began with an explanation of how men and women eat Doritos differently.

 

"When you eat out of a flex bag — one of our single-serve bags — especially as 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 flavor, and the broken chips in the bottom," she explained.

 

"Women would love to do the same, but they don’t," Nooyi continued. "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."

 

Basically, women don’t ferociously snack on these nacho-cheesy chips like men do.

 

Nooyi went on to say that PepsiCo is getting ready to launch snacks designed and packaged for women. They’ll be "low-crunch" and no-fuss so that women won’t "have so much of the flavor" on their fingers, and they’ll be easily storable "because women love to carry a snack in their purse." Oh, but don’t worry, they’ll have the "full taste profile" of regular chips.

Despite what you may have read, Nooyi didn't actually use the term "Lady Doritos" in the interview — news went viral yesterday, and the name was born.

The world responds with a LOT of backlash

"As women, we’ve fought for many rights: the right to vote, the right to be free of sexual harassment," S.E. Cupp Unfiltered contributor Erin Ryan said on Monday night's episode. "And now, finally, our most important battle has been won: the right to our very own Doritos. Go tell Sojourner Truth and Susan B. Anthony they can finally rest in peace." Good one. 

Twitter inevitably erupted.

Then there were these lovely videos of women going to town on bags of chips.

Though there was plenty of backlash, some weren't so quick to criticize the idea. "As a woman who loves Doritos, the backlash surprised me," Ruth Graham wrote for Slate. "I do want a single serving of chips that I can throw in my purse without worrying it will get crushed. I enjoy the intense flavor of Dorito dust as any other nacho-cheese-blooded American, but Nooyi is right that I don’t love licking it off my fingers in public. Admittedly, the low-crunch idea seems confusing but I fully trust America’s best snack designers to make it appealing in ways I don’t yet understand."

Others urged people to think deeper about where the stereotypes of women’s eating habits come from:

So no Lady Doritos, then?

No, we guess not.

Last night, Doritos released a statement on Twitter to address the "Lady Doritos" frenzy: "We already have Doritos for women — they’re called Doritos, and they’re loved by millions."

When the Freakonomics reporter interviewing Nooyi stated that she’s "known for being really involved, down to the micro level on how the product is in stores, and so on," the CEO responded, "I want to be clear on one thing. Our business leaders all run their own businesses. I don’t run their businesses."

She continued, "But what I do, do is I’m constantly out there in the marketplace looking to see how our products look on the shelf. Then I come back and I talk to my people about what I saw was good, and what wasn’t really good, to push them to higher levels of performance especially versus competition."

So maybe Doritos’ statement was a way of exhibiting that — that ultimately, when it comes time to reveal what's going into stores, they'll be the ones to break the news to us directly. 

Though PepsiCo could not be reached for an immediate comment, a spokesperson further clarified to Fox News that "the reporting on a specific Doritos product for female consumers is inaccurate," contradicting what Nooyi said.

"We already have Doritos for women – they’re called Doritos, and they’re enjoyed by millions of people every day," the company reiterated. "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 far as they’re concerned, Doritos as they’ve always been — crunchy, cheesy, delicious — aren’t going anywhere. And especially not with the word "lady" in the branding.

Now excuse me while I go eat a bag, crumbs and all.