Only 10% of women would buy food targeted specifically at their gender, a poll has revealed.

YouGov carried out the survey following claims that snack firm Doritos would be producing "lady-friendly" crisps. It suggested there was a gap in the market because women did not like to crunch loudly when eating snacks, lick their fingers or empty the bag into their mouths in public.

Surveyors asked: "Would you buy a food product aimed specifically at women?" Just 11% of those surveyed said yes, 65% said no and 24% did not know.

In the survey, more men said they would be willing to buy products aimed at women than women themselves, at 12% and 10% respectively.

Young people were more likely to say they would try gender-targeted food, with 14% of 18-24-year-olds willing to try, compared to 7% of 65-and-overs. The poll, taken on 7 February, surveyed 4,410 people in the UK.

The debate began after Indra Nooyi, CEO of Doritos owner PepsiCo, said on a Freakonomics podcast that the company was getting ready to launch Doritos that would fit in women's handbags and have "low-crunch and the full taste profile".

"[They will] not have so much of the flavour stick on the fingers," he added.

"A lot of the young guys eat the chips and 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 flavour.

"Women would love to do the same but they don't. They don't like to crunch too loudly in public. And they don't lick their fingers generously and they don't like to pour the little broken pieces into their mouth."

In the online backlash that followed, one Twitter user said: "WTF, @Doritos?? You can't be serious. Who was the idiot man in the conference room who came up with this?"

A PepsiCo spokesperson said that the interpretation of Nooyi's words to mean female-friendly Doritos were in the works was "inaccurate".

"We already have Doritos for women — they're called Doritos," the spokesperson said.