PepsiCo CEO stirs up controversy with 'chips for women' - CBS46 News

PepsiCo CEO stirs up controversy with 'chips for women'

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Indra Nooyi (Source: WikiCommons) Indra Nooyi (Source: WikiCommons)
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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

PepsiCo CEO Indira Nooyi stirred up some controversy after her recent appearance on the Freakonomics podcast on Jan. 31. 

Nooyi was on the show to talk about her ascent to CEO of the Fortune 500 company. She is only one of 24 women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. During the interview, host Stephen Dubner asked, "I understand that men and women eat chips very differently. Can you tell us the difference?"

Nooyi responded, "When you eat out of a flex bag — one of our single-serve bags — especially as you watch a lot of the young guys eat the 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 of the flavor, and the broken chips in the bottom. Women 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 flavor into their mouth."

Dubner then asked Nooyi if the company was playing around with the idea of male and female versions of their chips. Nooyi responded that the company was looking at launching a line of snacks targeted specifically at women. 

"It’s not a male and female as much as “are there snacks for women that can be designed and packaged differently?” And yes, we are looking at it, and we’re getting ready to launch a bunch of them soon. 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. The whole design capability we built in PepsiCo was to allow design to work with innovation. Not just on packaging colors, but to go through the entire cycle, and say, “All the way to the product in the pantry, or how it’s being carried around, or how they eat it in the car, or drink it in the car, what should be the design of the product, the package, the experience, so that we can influence the entire chain?”

After the quote was published by outlets like Fortune, BuzzFeed and CNBC, there was backlash on social media about the idea of snacks made and marketed specifically to women. 

Several news outlets have reported that despite what Nooyi said, the company does not plan to produce snacks for women only. 

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