#RateYourLadyChip: The Definitive Ranking of Lady-Friendly Chips

Good news, ladies. The thoughtful gents over at PepsiCo are finally making snacks for us.

While men have no problem devouring the snack food like boors, we women do. If we crunch too loudly or lick our fingers to ravenously, we melt in a puddle of estrogen and grease.

So, in a nod to gender equality, Doritos is launching chips just for women. They will crunch quietly and come in a size that could fit in a handbag, “because women love to carry a snack in their purse,” said PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi to Freakonomics.

Does anyone remember “Papyr: Paper for Women,” the “silky soft” feminine alternative to harsh masculine paper, pitched by Stanley on The Office?

Since Doritos is thus far the only chip maker addressing this crucial feminist issue, I thought I would do a service to the Sisterhood and try all the major chips, from Cheetos to Funyuns, and report on their crunchiness. Given that this is certainly the great gender issue of our generation, I also roped my long-suffering boyfriend into giving me his thoughts, as a man who eats man snacks.

On a 1-10 scale, I’ve given the nacho cheese doritos a crunch rating of 5, with 10 being the most crunchy.

But it’s not just about crunch. As Nooyi pointed out, it’s also about size and shape. I’ve also given each chip a “lady friendliness” ranking of 1-10, with 10 being the most lady friendly. I give Doritos, with their large triangular shape and filthy orange coating, a lady friendliness score of 2.

Until Doritos releases its lady chips, I’m stuck with these manly ones.

Cheetos

Sorry girls, Cheetos are crunchy. They’re not the worst offender but they’re definitely opposite the feminine end of the snack spectrum. The classic Cheeto orange residue is also a problem. But I have a solution. Eating them one at a time with chopsticks cures the staining, if not the crunchiness. It does force you to eat them one at a time, very slowly. Very ladylike.

BF is eating them three at a time.

Crunch: 7
Lady Friendliness: If you eat them with chopsticks, 5. If not, barbarian, then 3.

Cheetos Puffs

“THESE are for women,” says BF immediately after putting one in his manly mouth. I thought I would agree, since puffiness is a very ladylike quality in a snack. Fun fact: there’s a high school sorority on Gilmore Girls named The Puffs. Coincidence? I think not.

But then I tried a puffy Cheeto and the benefit of less crunch is overwhelmed by the increase in size. Being much thicker than crunchy Cheetos, there’s more surface area to contend with, making it both harder to stuff in my lady mouth—something a proper lady would never do anyway—and easier for orange residue to accumulate on my fingers and mouth.

Crunch: 3
Lady Friendliness: 6

Funyuns

“The funyun might be the manliest chip here,” says BF. He might be right. It’s a hard, long-lasting crunch with a very unladylike aftertaste. There’s no way you can kiss your man and do his laundry while chomping on these packaged onion rings.

Crunch: 10
Lady Friendliness: 1

Fritos

These are almost as crunchy as funyuns but it’s a quieter, softer crunch. Fritos are thick but small. They’re easier to stuff in a dainty mouth but take a long time to finish chewing, and chewing is not dainty. Why aren’t you on an all-liquid diet anyway, girlfriend?

BF agrees that these are a loud but “not manly” crunch.

Crunch: 9
Lady Friendliness: 5

Ruffles

These are not particularly loud but they take a long time to chew. The ridges of the chip cause the crunch to keep resurfacing, so you have to be constantly on guard lest someone catch you mid-bite. Luckily, being constantly on guard is part of being a lady, so points for that.

“It’s a woman’s crunch but a long crunch,” says BF.

Crunch: 7.5
Lady Friendliness: 4

Kettle chips (salt and vinegar)

This is the most enjoyable chip to eat. It’s got a delicious taste, a crunch that is not too intense or weak, and makes for a delightful chewing experience.

“Yeah, cuz it’s a man chip,” says BF. He’s not wrong but it’s not so intense that a lady can’t like it. This the snack for that classy lady who can go wild every once in a while. Assuming she’s finished folding her man’s shirts, of course.

Crunch: 7
Lady Friendliness: 6

Sun chips (sour cream and onion)

BF thinks this is the most womanly chip on the market. ”Like you’re going to a baby shower,” he says. “Don’t forget your sun chips.”

However, BF has not considered the sun chip’s size and shape, which is wide, wavy and rectangular. It’s hard to cram into one’s mouth, let alone place delicately on the tongue the way ladies eat everything in commercials.

It also doesn’t even crunch quietly.

Crunch: 6
Lady Friendliness: 4

Pretzel sticks

BF does not believe these are chips or snacks or food at all, but since they’re often found on the party chips and dip table, I counted them. That said, they are loud and take a long time to chew. They don’t, however, have a manly aftertaste like garlic or onions. They have no aftertaste. Pretzels are nothing.

Crunch: 7
Lady Friendliness: 4

Lay’s (barbecue)

The worst of chips. Like Ruffles, these take a long time to finish chewing. Even if you eat one at a time, it gets stuck in your mouth the way peanut butter does. It’s basically a thin sheet of flaky grease. Not very crunchy but definitely not fit for a woman.

“I would consider that a lady chip,” says BF. Here, I realize that BF and I are doing some valuable market research (for free, so you’re welcome). He thinks it’s a lady chip because it’s not very crunchy but he hasn’t considered the other factors that a lady might.

The gender chip divide is real.

Crunch: 4
Lady Friendliness: 1

Pringles

These come in a can so small you can put it in your purse.

That, however, is where the lady friendliness ends. Just like Sun Chips, these are difficult for one of the fairer sex because of their large and unwieldy shape. I recall being a young girl, avoiding these monsters because I knew they would one day be the reason I don’t land a man.

Good thing I listened to little girl me because I’ve got a man, who says these have a “lady crunch” to them. Which is to say, they are not very crunchy at all.

Crunch: 2
Lady Friendliness: 2

These are just the major chips, of course. Ladies, this is a team effort. #RateYourLadyChip on all your social medias and in your daily life. Together, we can make snacking safe for women.

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