PC Culture

What Exactly Is a ‘Lady Dorito’?

(Photo: Christian De Grandmaison/Dreamstime)
I have so many questions.

I’m very glad I decided to get out of bed yesterday, because I found out that the reason I’m still single is because I eat regular chips.

In case you didn’t make it out of bed yourself (no judgies!), the Internet went wild over a podcast interview with the chief executive officer of PepsiCo, who seemed to say that the company was working on a new line of Doritos-like snacks made specifically for women.

“They don’t like to crunch too loudly in public,” CEO Indra Nooyi said on the January 31 episode of the Freakonomics Radio podcast. “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.”

(Note: I had no idea this made me some kind of gender-bending feminist hero, but I’m actually totally fine with eating regular chips. In fact, I even have done the thing where I “pour the little broken pieces and the flavor” into my mouth. Even though I’m a girl!)

Nooyi continued: “For women, low-crunch, the full taste profile, not have so much of the flavor stick on the fingers, and how can you put it in a purse? Because women love to carry a snack in their purse.”

In case you thought this possibly couldn’t get any more confusing, however, PepsiCo came out with a statement on Monday night clarifying that there weren’t actually plans for any Lady Doritos:

“The reporting on a specific Doritos product for female consumers is inaccurate,” a representative told BuzzFeed. “We already have Doritos for women — they’re called Doritos.”

I have so many questions. First of all, if there really were never any Lady Doritos in the making, then just what in the fresh hell was Nooyi talking about in that interview? Does the company’s chief executive just have no idea what’s going on in her own company? Is PepsiCo saying that she’s totally delusional, that she was simply imagining that her company was about to launch this new line of feminine corn chips, when really there was never any such discussion? Did she just hallucinate the whole thing? And, most of all: Just what in the flying flip is a “Lady Dorito” anyway?

I might blow your mind here (seeing as I am a “lady” and all), but when I eat chips, I would actually like for them to have a crunch. I thought it was part of the whole reason to eat a chip — for that crunchy satisfaction. Who wants a chewy chip? What would a chewy chip even taste like? Would they be wet? (“Soak your chips in water if you want to have a boyfriend, ladies!”) Maybe just a nice little 100-calorie serving of nacho-flavored sludge that comes in a purse-friendly packet that you could eat daintily with an (included!) pink plastic spoon? So appealing.

When I eat chips, I would actually like for them to have a crunch.

I know that PepsiCo is trying to make this all go away with its statement, but I still demand answers. Either the company really was considering some sort of sludge-like “Lady Doritos” product, which it thought would be actually marketable to people like me, or it has a CEO that has been walking around hallucinating that the company was considering it — and it hasn’t even fired her for lacking the mental fitness for her job. Truthfully, I’m not sure which is worse.


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— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.

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