Doritos-maker PepsiCo set to launch snack range — for women only

A bag of Doritos chips, part of PepsiCo's Frito-Lay snack division
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Cheetos, Doritos and Lays chips could appear a little different at the grocery store with owner PepsiCo announcing that it is set to launch a range of snacks with a difference: they will be aimed at women only.

Women prefer chips that don't make too much noise when eaten or leave them with sticky fingers, according to PepsiCo Chief Executive Indra Nooyi.

"What a lot of the young guys (do when they) eat their 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," Nooyi told U.S. podcast "Freakonomics Radio."

"Women I think would love to do the same but they don't, they don't like to crunch too loudly in public, and you know 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 added.

Behind Pepsi's Super Bowl ads
Behind Pepsi's Super Bowl ads

When asked by presenter Stephen J. Dubner whether this meant there would be male and female versions of Doritos, Nooyi said not exactly.

"It's not a male and female as much as (asking) are there snacks for women that can be designed and packaged differently and yes, we are looking at it and we are getting ready to launch a bunch of them soon." Nooyi did not specify whether these would be brand-new ranges or different versions of PepsiCo's existing snack lines.

"For women, you know, low crunch, the full taste profile, not have so much of the flavor stick on the fingers, and how can you put it in your purse, because women love to carry a snack in their purse," she added.

PepsiCo said reports of a specific Doritos product for women are 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," a PepsiCo spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Nooyi, who was speaking as part of a profile in Freakonomics' "The Secret Life of CEOs" series, went on to explain that the company had looked at how its design and innovation teams worked together. Teams sometimes went on home visits to see how PepsiCo products were stored in pantries and fridges, she added.

"The whole design capability we built in PepsiCo was to allow design to work with innovation, not just on packaging colors but to go through the entire cycle and say all the way to the product in the pantry or how it's being carried around, or how they eat it in the car or drink it in the car, what should be the design of the product, the package, the experience, so that we can influence the entire chain."

The snack brands are part of PepsiCo's $14 billion Frito-Lay North America business unit.

This story has been updated to include a statement from PepsiCo.