PepsiCo may be designing a new snack range specifically for women. PepsiCo claims that the snack would make less crunch sounds, and would not leave crumbs on one’s fingers. The snack would have a smaller package so that it would be easier for women to fit into their purses. While at this stage there are no details on the new snack, mere speculations have already stirred controversy.
Through this design, PepsiCo aims to make a product of convenience. However, they are actually reinforcing gender stereotypes in our society. They are depicting women in a stereotypical way, whereby women are seen as overly cautious of their appearance while eating in public. More importantly, the labeling of this snack is significant to the message it is bringing to society. Labeling this new snack as for “women” implies that only women should care about their appearance while eating a snack in public. If this snack is designed to make it easier for those who want to avoid messiness while eating, then it should not be gender specific. The claimed purpose of this snack contains sexist ideas. Behavioral attitude toward eating in public should not be bound to one’s gender. Does one have to be a woman to care about how they look while eating a snack?
How about the men that would prefer this kind of snack? According to PepsiCo, women would be the ones to prefer this kind of snack, and not men. And how about the women that don’t mind crunch noises or licking their fingers in public? Well, the assumptions built into this new snack – that women should want to avoid crunchy noises and licking their fingers in public – make society view those women negatively. When a company makes a product that reinforces gender stereotypes, they are spreading these ideas to members of society, who ultimately absorb these stereotypes, making them even harder to resist. Despite this, women around the world are fighting back against these stereotypes and negative perceptions.
Gender related stereotypes are prevalent in so many aspects of society. This new snack by PepsiCo only creates even more stereotypes about women, using something as simple as eating.