'Lady Doritos' are no joke

The maker of Doritos is hardly in a crunch after chatter about the potential for daintier corn chips marketed towards women sparked a visceral viral reaction — in fact, experts say comments from the CEO of PepsiCo were likely just a ploy to test the market.

PepsiCo released a statement Tuesday calling reporting on the launch of such a product "inaccurate," adding "we already have Doritos for women — they're called Doritos."

The response came after CEO Indra Nooyi said on a Freakonomics podcast last week that women don't like licking their fingers while eating the snack, pouring the crumbs into their mouths, or munching loudly in public. She added that the snack brand was "getting ready to launch a bunch" of Doritos designed for women and packaged to fit their purses.

Though it may have seemed like a misstep, Canadian marketing experts say it was a calculated way to get free advertising and test consumers' willingness to purchase gender-based food.

Nooyi is a seasoned and high-profile food industry veteran, who knew what she was doing and was "trying to tap into the market," said Jordan LeBel, an associate food marketing professor at Concordia University.

"Nooyi is known for pushing the envelope... She knows the power of her words," said LeBel. "This could be just to test the response. If all hell breaks and people think this is scandalous and it won't sell, it gives PepsiCo something to work with."

As for "lady Doritos", model Chrissy Teigen, Glee star Jane Lynch, comedian Kathy Griffin, and actress Busy Philipps were among the many critics who took to social media to slam the idea.

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