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When it comes to the crunch

Nicci Martel | Published:

IN A week which marked the 100th anniversary of partial suffrage for women in the UK, the internet was very distracted by the idea of snacks for ladies.

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You know how regular crisps pose a constant challenge to women? Well, it was rumoured that PepsiCo were coming to the rescue with Lady Doritos, no less, a new line of its beloved triangular crisps especially for gals.

Now, calm down dear, don’t get your knickers in a twist, because Lady Doritos are not actually happening. PepsiCo has denied it is launching any such product, and considering the reaction to ‘lady-friendly’ crisps (hint: it wasn’t positive), that’s probably wise.

Wires were crossed when Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo, Doritos’ parent company, did an interview in which she said: ‘As you watch a lot of the young guys eat 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.’

She went on to explain: ‘Women I think 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 generously and they don’t like to pour the little broken pieces and the flavour into their mouth.’

Despite the company shutting down the rumour, Nooyi kind of did give the impression the company were working on a new range female-centric snacks which were cleaner and quieter than traditional Doritos, and small enough to fit in a handbag, which all seems entirely bizarre and pointless.

The women I know would guzzle a bag of crisps while stood at the bus stop, wipe their hands on their jeans and happily spend the next hour picking out crumbs from their cleavage. And has Nooyi seen a normal woman’s handbag? Mine is so large that it could hold a party-size bag of Doritos, a two-litre bottle of coke and a rotisserie chicken, and it would still take me 15 minutes to find any of it.

So, crisps for women? I think not. But there might just be more to this story than meets the eye. Yes, there’s been outrage and it may have been over nothing, but Doritos has been the brand on everyone’s lips this week. And annoyingly, if this was a strategic exercise in guerrilla PR, it might have just worked. I could smash a bag of Tangy Cheese right now. Doritos are going on the shopping list.

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