BUSINESS
02/06/2018 16:14 EST | Updated 02/06/2018 16:18 EST

'Lady Doritos' Just A Test To Gauge Public Reaction, Experts Say

CEO Indra Nooyi's suggestion of less-crunchy Doritos for women was no accident.

Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, at Adasia 2011. Nooyi suggested recently that PepsiCo is working on a line of Doritos for women, though the company has distanced itself from the idea.
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Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, at Adasia 2011. Nooyi suggested recently that PepsiCo is working on a line of Doritos for women, though the company has distanced itself from the idea.

TORONTO — Canadian branding experts say talk of Doritos with reduced crunchiness to appeal to women is likely just a ploy from PepsiCo to test the market.

The idea went viral this week after the food giant's executive officer Indra Nooyi teased on the Freakonomics podcast that the product would be launched soon because she said women don't like licking their fingers while eating the snack, pouring the crumbs into their mouth or munching loudly in public.

The company denies such an offering is in the works.

Watch: PepsiCo disowns "lady Doritos"

Associate food marketing professor at Concordia University Jordan LeBel says Nooyi is a seasoned veteran who knows the power of her words and her remarks were likely meant to measure how shoppers would react if her company released a gendered product.

The notion has sparked a social media frenzy, meeting with criticism from the likes of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, model Chrissy Teigen and comedian Kathy Griffin.

Dalhousie University food distribution and policy professor Sylvain Charlebois thinks the negative attention will actually help the brand because he said the more publicity it gets the more sales generally increase.

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