The PepsiCo company does not make that many mistakes when it comes to creating, marketing, or distributing products. Their work ethic and name brand have helped to bring them to the point where they are recognized the whole world over. This is why the news was shocking when it was reported that Pepsi was having a marketing fiasco on their hands.
The Boston Globe reports that Pepsi has been trying to craft a kind of chip product for women. Nothing necessarily wrong with that except that some have taken offense at the assumptions that Pepsi is making about women and their eating habits in their research and development of this new product.
PepsiCo suggested that they wanted to make a version of Doritos that was less crunchy and loud when chewing. They also wanted it to have less flavor dust on it than their classic Doritos. They said that women do not prefer the louder crunch and that most do not lick the dust off of their fingers as men often do.
They probably drew all of these conclusions from market research that they had done on the topic. However, the suggestion that women could not handle the crunch of Doritos chips was enough to draw criticism on social media in a hurry.
Word got out and spread fast about PepsiCo’s plans to make this kind of chip. It was not well received by a lot of people (in particular women) on social media. The sarcasm began right away. Users began to make sarcastically thankful comments towards PepsiCo. They wanted it to be very clear that they were not appreciating what the company was trying to do.
Interestingly, the marketing consultant who came up with this plan is a woman. She intended to legitimately create something that would appeal better to women. However, given the firestorm that this has caused, the company has backed off the idea.
They have gone on to say that they already have a chip product for women. That product is called Doritos they say. They want to make it clear now that their products are for all people.
Other companies have made this same misstep in the past and have faced similar results. You might think that Pepsi would have learned of these mistakes of others in the past. At least for them the product did not yet hit store shelves before the backlash hit. They will simply scrap the project for the time being.