The makers of Doritos have announced plans to create a new "lady-friendly" version of the snack that is less messy and less noisy to eat.

PepsiCo – owners of Pepsi, Tropicana, Quaker Oats and other popular food brands – has claimed that research found that women do not enjoy licking their fingers or crunching their crisps loudly in public, The Sun reported.

Global chief exec Indra Nooyi said: "Although women would love to crunch crisps loudly, lick their fingers and pour crumbs from the bag into their mouth afterwards, they prefer not to do this in public.

"You watch a lot of the young guys eat the chips. 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.

"It's not a male and female [thing] as much as 'are there snacks for women that can be designed and packaged differently?' Yes, we are looking at it, and we're getting ready to launch a bunch of them soon."

The packaging would be redesigned, too, in order to fit into handbags but the whole initiative has sparked ridicule on social media.

Some tweeters saw a deliberate provocation in the announcement as a cheesy way of getting advertising without paying for it.

One tweeter wrote: "My first thought was to say 'I eat Doritos the same as men do' essentially a free ad for the brand. Doritos is baiting women with sexist stereotypes to get women to do their advertising for them. Don't fall for it. No to #Doritos."