Is this a joke?
PepsiCo, the maker of Doritos, Fritos, and many other “i(/ee)tos” chips, released one of this year’s more enjoyable Super Bowl commercials (non-Goldblum category), starring Peter Dinklage rapping about Doritos Blaze. But in a more head-scratching move, PepsiCo’s CEO suggests that the company is working on making different chips specifically for women.
In a recent episode of the Freakonomics podcast, Indra Nooyi mentioned that the soft drink and snack maker needs to make a chip that caters to the experience of snacking in public while female. In Pepsico’s view, male Dorito fiends can “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,” generally snacking with enthusiasm and panache.
Meanwhile, today’s woman apparently can’t dive into a bag of Doritos without experiencing deep pangs of sorrow and self-consciousness. “Women would love to do the same, but they don’t,” Nooyi said, “They don’t like to crunch too loudly in public, they don’t lick their fingers generously and they don’t like to pour the little broken pieces and the flavor into their mouth.”
So what would a female-centric version of chips entail? It seems it’s not a matter of just putting nacho cheese Doritos in a pink bag, but re-envisioning the chip from the corn up. “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,” said Nooyi.
As of yet, there are no concrete product concepts or timelines for when women might be saved from the scourge of hypermasculine snacking, but Nooyi said the company is “getting ready to launch a bunch of them soon.”
Of course, a company as large as Pepsico would never stop to question how our base capitalist system perpetuates a cultural superstructure where women are made to feel that they can’t lick Dorito dust off their fingers without falling short of some patriarchal concept of femininity. But at least it’s comforting to know that soon enough, we will all have a PepsiCo snack that corresponds with our desired performance of gender. Maybe they’ll make a Mountain Dew for men that actively suppresses emotion next.