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PepsiCo CEO says women don't like loud, messy snacks

And the internet is not happy about it.
/ Source: TODAY

When you rip open a bag of chips, do you start munching and crunching until you’ve eaten every last crumb ... or do you savor that bag and quietly eat each chip with care?

Your gender may determine just how you go about snacking on certain foods, according to the CEO of one of the world's largest food companies. Men and women often have different snacking habits, says Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo, the parent company of snack brands like Lays, Cheetos, Doritos, Ruffles and Fritos.

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In a recent interview with Freakonomics that’s been making headlines, Nooyi said there can be a gender divide when it comes to snacking preferences. She used Doritos as an example.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

Nooyi went on to say that PepsiCo is looking into how snacks can be tailored, marketed and packaged differently for women. A lot of people took this to mean that Frito-Lay might be developing a new "Doritos For Her" snack item, so naturally the internet had a field day.

However, Doritos fans (and women who like to snack noisily) can rest easy. Right now, according to Nooyi, the company is just looking more broadly at how products can be catered to female consumers.

“It’s not a male and female as much as ‘are there snacks for women that can be designed and packaged differently?’” she said.

She did say that PepsiCo is looking into products for women that have a “low-crunch” while still maintaining a “full taste profile,” without leaving a lot of flavor residue on the fingers — as well as packaging that's handbag friendly.

“How can you put it in a purse? Because women love to carry a snack in their purse,” she said.

A representative from PepsiCo declined to comment on the record about Nooyi's statements.

No new gender-specific snacks have been announced, but it sounds like some treats tailored to female snackers could be coming to a store near you.

“We are looking at it," she said. "We’re getting ready to launch a bunch of them soon."

Maybe you can enjoy those snacks with a bottle of Aurosa, a delicately-flavored beer from a brewery in the Czech Republic that was designed just for women.

Update: On Monday night, a spokesperson for PepsiCo told TODAY Food via email that there is, in fact, no female-specific Doritos snack product on the way, saying, "The reporting on a specific Doritos product for female consumers is inaccurate. We already have Doritos for women — they’re called Doritos, and they’re enjoyed by millions of people every day. At the same time, we know needs and preferences continue to evolve and we’re always looking for new ways to engage and delight our consumers."