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Premier Wynne takes a bite out of 'Lady Doritos' idea

Last Updated Feb 6, 2018 at 6:36 pm EDT

For most, gender equality means equal opportunity, mutual respect, and a level playing field in the workplace where salaries are often tilted in favour of men.

But in 2018, it also means don’t mess with my Doritos.

That message was sent loud and clear when the CEO of PepsiCo, which owns the popular Frito-Lay chip brand, said the company was considering developing a woman-friendly version of Doritos that minimizes cheesy residue and silences the crunch.

CEO Indra Nooyi made the comments in an interview with Freakonomics Radio, suggesting that the chips were too messy for women.

Her comments drew the ire of the Twittersphere, with Premier Kathleen Wynne even joining the backlash parade.

Jamey Gordon, Managing Partner with Looking Glass Group and a professor at Schulich School of Business says Pepsico may not have gotten it wrong, but the way the message was delivered could have been done differently.

“There is a lot going on right now in terms of gendered equality, there is a lot of discussion in the news so the consumer mindset is a little bit sensitive when it comes to this topic right now, says Gordon.

“In terms of what they’re building, I think the new product is going to deliver on interesting consumer needs, it may actually be very appealing to the audience, but in terms of speaking about it in terms of ‘Lady Doritos,’ and talking about how the product doesn’t deliver to the audience today, that’s where the opportunity lies.”

Megan Boler, a professor with the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education with the University of Toronto told CityNews this news is the latest that indication norms of femininity may still be at work in our culture.

“Most presume that [norms of femininity] should have disappeared at minimum with the second wave of feminism,” she said.  “Surely in 2018 it is no longer expected that women eat silently and daintily according to 19th century elite norms of virtuous femininity. What’s next – separate rooms for women to eat in restaurants?”

It didn’t take long for Doritos to distance itself from the CEO’s bizarre idea. On Monday night, the chip maker tweeted out that they “already have Doritos for women — they’re called Doritos, and they’re loved by millions.”