Food and Me

Frito-Lay Drops Noisy Sun Chips

Sun Chips

Frito-Lay is dropping their 100% com- postable Sun Chips snacks, not out of any concern over whether the bags actually de- compose (they do, in an estimated 14 weeks), but because they’re insanely loud. Apparently the crinkling is louder than the average potato chip bag — as proven here — and sales have dropped 11% since hitting shelves in January.

Video bloggers have taken to the air- waves with their complaints, among them a pilot who likened it to a jet cockpit mid- flight. Okay, we think that’s a stretch, but it’s true the bag is louder than most. Even so, has a loud pretzel or ruffled chip ever stopped us from snacking before?

Amy Epstein, managing director of the Americas at ABI marketing public rela- tions, explains that a company’s decision to go sustainable involves evaluating how much a consumer is willing to sacrifice for a green product. In this case, she says, if the average consumer were a bit more interest- ed in sustainability, maybe they wouldn’t mind the sound. Or maybe Frito-Lay should have tested it out more thoroughly during market research. Companies also have retailers pushing for sustainable prod- ucts, which they believe is a growing mar- ket — so “there’s been a slight shift of focus away from the consumer,” says Epstein.

ABI helps sustainable-packaging compa- nies meet their market, so she does applaud the company for raising awareness. This move doesn’t mean there won’t be another compostable chip bag, just maybe one that isn’t so loud.

by Jessie Cacciola

Photo: anotherkindofdrew, Flickr