PepsiCo harnesses AI technology to arm “frustrated” gamers with crunchless snack webfi

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Gamer eating Doritos Silent.



03 Nov 2023 — PepsiCo’s Doritos is unveiling a “crunch-cancellation” AI-enabled technology that enables gamers to enjoy the tortilla chips without distracting other players. The launch comes as new research reveals that the sound of snacking frustrates gamers globally. 

Moreover, PepsiCo tells Food Ingredients First that while Doritos Silent was created specifically to detect and silence the crunch of Doritos, there is potential to extend the technology to other snack applications.

“We tested the technology on other sounds — so it can help gamers isolate and remove similar snacking sounds while gaming,” says Fernando Kahane, global head of marketing for Doritos at PepsiCo.

“Doritos is the snack of choice for 85% of gamers worldwide, emphasizing the strong connection between the brand and the gaming community. The creation of this software opens the door for even more innovation in the gaming space.”

“For now, Doritos Silent is exclusively being trialed on PCs, but we are working to make it widely available across more platforms in the future.”

Doritos indicates that its silent solution can attract the reported 80% of Millennials and Gen Z who classify themselves as gamers.

Isolating the “crunch”
Doritos Silent was designed in partnership with Smooth Technology — a leader in electronic and interactive design. The “crunch cancellation” technology took six months to develop and involved the technical analysis of more than 5,000 different crunch sounds.

One of the biggest challenges, Kahane tells us, was finding the exact right sound of the Doritos “crunch.”Gamer looking at new Doritos crunchless chips.PepsiCo research suggests that global gamers would welcome a silent snacking experience to improve co-op gaming experiences.

“With Smooth Technology’s expertise, we created a ‘virtual microphone’ using advanced AI technology that detects crunch sounds, background sounds and triggers ‘noise gates’ to fully cancel Doritos ‘crunches.’

Meanwhile, Dylan Fashbaugh, the lead software developer at Smooth Technology, is described as a “Doritos lover” and understood firsthand the frustration of hearing someone crunch through a headset during gaming.

“We all know that gamers love Doritos, but that unmistakable crunch can often disrupt those intense gaming moments. With Doritos Silent, we’ve worked to ensure gamers can enjoy the crunch of Doritos without disturbing their fellow players, making for a better gaming experience,” he says.

Research insights
PepsiCo’s study revealed a strong international demand for an innovative solution that eliminates crunching sounds while gaming.

In the UK, 46% of gamers dislike the sound of other people eating.

In Portugal and Spain, 68% and 64% of gamers, respectively, rank “crisps” or “chips” first when asked which food items create the worst noise while they’re gaming and the other person is eating.

In the US, 30% say that other people crunching distracts them from playing well or impacts their performance.

Doritos teased the idea of “making Doritos silent” with social media and out-of-home advertisements that featured Doritos chips in place of noise-canceling headphones in the UK, US, Spain, Poland, Brazil and Portugal.

As esports continues to increase in popularity worldwide, the nutrition industry is also adapting, innovating and exploring the benefits of both novel and well-known ingredients in this space. Our sister platform, Nutrition Insight, recently sat down with industry professionals to learn more about the supplements, nutraceuticals and products shaping the esports market.

By Joshua Poole


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