Doritos Is Making "Lady-Friendly" Chips & Twitter Is Mystified

by Collette Reitz

New is always better. Or is it? When it comes to the newest product from Doritos, the internet isn't quite sure what to make of it. If you're judging from the most recent reaction, these tweets about Doritos "lady-friendly" chips show that not everyone is on board with this new idea.

Before you decide what you think about the newest Doritos, let's first discuss what these "lady-friendly" chips actually are. The New York Post reports that PepsiCo (the parent company of Doritos) claims there is research supporting the idea that women don't enjoy eating chips in front of other people when the chips crunch too loudly or are so messy to necessitate licking their fingers. Doritos definitely fall under the categories of crunchy and messy (also, delicious).

These "lady-friendly" chips, which aren't on the market yet, are "low crunch" snacks in the iconic triangular Doritos shape, and the packaging is even specifically designed to fit in women's handbags. Elite Daily reached out to Frito-Lay for comment on the chips, but did not hear back at time of publication.

Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo, further explained in a Jan. 31 Freakonomics Radio episode the reasoning behind "lady-friendly" chips. She said that women would love to eat chips the way men do by licking their fingers and pouring the crumbs from the bottom of the bag straight into their mouths, but she contends that while women might want to eat that way, they simply don't. And as for the more petite packaging, Nooyi relayed that women love to carry snacks in their purse.

Not surprisingly, this news was met with quite a mixed reaction on Twitter.

There were some people who were highly offended by the idea that women need a specifically designed chip, and many women contended that they currently eat Doritos as they are with no problem at all.

"Does it have to be 'for women'? Why can't they just make a chip that doesn't crunch?"

"...our teeth and jaws are just fine."

"They clearly surveyed the wrong women."

"Honestly. The crunch is the best part."

Beyond questioning the production (and necessity) of a "lady-friendly" chip, many people were curious as to how the company plans to create such a chip. There were many responses that posited doing so will make the "lady-friendly" chip something that doesn't even resemble a Dorito at all.

For clarification (and because sarcasm doesn't always shine through on the internet), these are not the actual plans put forth by PepsiCo. There is no word yet on the exact process and ingredients for the low-crunch chips.

"Doritos to let some Doritos sit out for a while before being put in a pastel bag."

" mean bread?"

"A soft Dorito? Isn’t this just called cheese?"

"I think they already have those — they're called tortillas."

Along with the humorous predictions of what a "lady-friendly" chip might look like, there were some responses that weren't so harsh on the idea of a low-crunch chip.

"...there is a noticeable difference in user behavior and she’s interested in solving for that."

Neha Gandhi, the Editor-in-Chief and COO of Girlboss, wasn't as quick to criticize the creation of a new chip based on observed behaviors. She replied to a tweet that claimed these new chips for women will be "stale," and Gandhi didn't agree with that assessment. She was more open to the idea of solving the PepsiCo-reported problem women have with eating chips.

While it's true that the PepsiCo CEO offered up research about how women and men have different approaches to eating chips, there were responses that indicated a quieter chip might be appreciated by many people, male and female alike.

"Missed marketing opportunity: 'Parent-friendly' chips that don't crunch and wake your greedy kids up."

The "parent-friendly" chip idea immediately reminded me of the scene in Big Daddy when Adam Sandler tried to eat his chips as quietly as possible in order to not wake up his kid, Julian, from a nap. As a reminder, Julian woke up, requested the "Kangaroo Song," and then immediately threw up. So, if real life is like the movies (LOL), then low-crunch chips for parents sounds very necessary.

"My dad will love this. He does not like food noises. Let him know who’s tackling carrots."

This isn't the first seemingly unisex product mass-marketed toward women. You'll recall that 2012 saw a release of pens marketed toward women. The Bic for Her pens claim to have, according to the description on Amazon, an "elegant design" that's "just for her" and a "thin barrel to fit a woman's hand." The colors available are an array of crystal pastels. The reactions to the Bic for Her pens were similar to some of the responses to "lady-friendly" chips.

In the end, though, people aren't totally opposed to new approaches to innovate well-known products. The crux of the issue is when general claims are made about how one gender or another usually acts in a given situation. Twitter agrees that basing marketing decisions on generalizations (even when it is backed up by research) doesn't seem to be the most well-received manner to announce a new product. And from the reaction on Twitter, it appears that removing a gender component might be a more favored way to present new products.

Controversy aside, I'm beyond curious to know what a "low-crunch" Dorito will be (and if I'll still want to polish off an entire bag of them).