PepsiCo Is On a Quest for a Quieter, Cleaner Chip

Targeted at women, this snack revolution might improve the lives of misophonics everywhere.

By Ethan L. Johns
February 05, 2018

Image: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Do you hate cheesy fingertips? Do you hate the sound of people chowing down on their chips? Are you ready to take a stand and boldly say, NO MORE?

Well, buddy, you’ve got one massive corporation in your corner.

PepsiCo is currently preparing for the launch of a new line of packaged snacks, like Doritos, that has all the flavor of the original, with less noisy crunch and less orange mess. The project was revealed by CEO Indra Nooyi in a recent interview with Freakonomics Radio, after she was prompted by host Stephen Dubner to explain how men and women eat chips differently.

“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,” said Nooyi to Dubner. “Women would love to do the same, but they don’t.”

Questionable male-female marketing survey logic aside (we’ll leave the “lady-friendly” skewering to the rest of the internet), the goal of the project extends far, far beyond gender to any civilized chip eater who dislikes the idea of sticking their dirty orange fingers in their mouths—or wiping them on their pants.

The invention is also likely to benefit those who are bothered by the sound of that dude on the train who was never taught how to chew with his mouth closed. (Dear dude: simply insert food, seal lips, commence chewing, keeping lips sealed. It’s really that simple.)

It’s actually a formidable way to return the power to the people, when you remember that engineering snack food crunch is just one way that product developers can actually trick your brain into believing a food to be more delicious. Research done in 2004 by psychologist Charles Spence shows that altering the sound a Pringles chip makes when crunched changes the perception of the chip’s freshness.

Of course, knowing this, we have to wonder if the new clean-and-quiet PepsiCo chip line will even be tasty if our brains don’t hear that dramatic, crisp crunch. For the sake of the global soundscape, we hope so.

Need some crunch in your life after all? Get cooking with these potato chip recipes.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns