Consumer preference trumps ecological packaging

The health conscious american consumer does not care about the environment. Just ask Frito-Lay. At the beginning of this year, they introduced a completely biodegradable package for the Sun chip brand of snack chips. The chips are baked chips marketed toward more health conscious consumers. Frito-Lay, owned by Pepsi, thought health conscious people are probably also more environmentally conscious as well. WRONG! Apparently the new packaging is louder than the old packaging and these health conscious consumers don’t like their chip bags crackling and making a lot of noise…so they have complained and Frito-Lay is listening to them. They are replacing the packaging with the old style non-bio-degradable packaging, that’s just a bit quieter!

That makes me sad. I normally don’t buy Sun Chips but did when I saw the new packaging. Well, back to no Sun Chips. Oh well.

To be fair, have you actual heard the new bags? They’re measured at 95 decibels - pretty close to “damage your hearing” loud. It seems like a bogus complaint - but just find one in your grocery aisle and give it a crinkle - it’s alarmingly loud.

We tried composting one of those bags. After a few months, we now have compost with a potato chip bag in it.

After 30 seconds of internet research, I see this is probably because our home compost bin doesn’t maintain a 125°F temperature required for the bag to biodegrade.

Gah! Sun chips taste like Phoooott! I’d rather have some sea salt and vinegar in any kind of bag.

Oh yeah, those things were insanely loud. My wife got a taste for the “Garden Salsa” flavor, and I actually put effort into moving the bag as little as possible whenever I had to pick it up, to keep it from driving me nuts.

A search of YouTube finds many videos about the loud bags. Here’s one example. He’s not even being very abusive toward that bag, but MAN is it noisy.

I’m a fan of the Peppercorn Ranch flavor, so this is welcome news. I stoppped buying Sun Chips because of the noisy packaging.

The bag is very loud, and as I don’t have a car (there’s your environmental friendliness for you), it was impossible to avoid making noise. Seeing as my health-consciousness is part of a general effort to make me happier, I opted to stop eating the damn chips rather than keep around something that irritated me every time I so much as thought about it.

Rock on! I made the mistake of buying Sun Chips during the noisy bag era. It was so ridiculously loud that I moved them to a gallon-sized ziploc and vowed not to purchase them again.

As has been pointed out, they did not really biodegrade all that well in the first place. Aside from the noise (which was significant, and irritating as all hell), I found that the bag ripped very easily. I can imagine that there was probably a lot of damaged product during shipment and putting on the store shelves.

ETA: Plus, most of the bags probably went to the landfill, where even newspapers don’t degrade when they are buried in anoxic conditions 12 feet deep, so the whole exercise was simply a feel-good example of marketing, and did not make an appreciable difference to the environment.

As somebody above said, that makes me sad. :frowning: It’s the epitome of human laziness and selfishness.

Laziness? Selfishness? I had heard they had new bags, but didn’t know about the noise component until the morning news did a segment. The darn things were so loud you couldn’t hear them talking over it. The one reporter said the noise woke her baby up when she tried to have a few chips in the evening. I’d only had the snack-size bags, which were the old material, so the next time I went to the store I sought out the new bags and poked one…WOW! That was really, really loud! I recycle, I try to buy things without excess packaging…but those bags were just wrong!

Have you HEARD the fucking bags? They are unbelievably loud.

Edit : I see I’m about ninth in line…


I deal with them all the time. I can stand a little crinkle knowing they’ll biodegrade, as opposed to the people who are all “WAHHH my snack bag is toooo louudddd woe is me!”

except as has been pointed out, they frequently don’t.

So they they’re annoying as all hell and aren’t very good at doing the thing that they’re supposed to. But you want to go on some self-righteous whinefest about how “lazy and selfish” people are. Seriously, we’re talking about snack chip bags, how does “laziness” even enter into it? Are you just rooting around for any put-downs you can think of?

I’ve heard these bags were quite loud. Can anyone confirm/disconfirm?

The fact that this packaging failed doesn’t mean people don’t care. Environmental impact is a classic case of a collective action problem (look up prisoner’s dilemma and tragedy of the commons, see how they apply).

Relying on private actors for the provision/preservation of public goods is as mistaken as relying on public actors for the provision of private goods. In either case, it’s not surprising if those actions fail.

Oh hell yes. I’ve been to concerts with lower decibel levels. It’s all but impossible to eat them from the bag while attempting any kind of conversation. Watching TV is totally out.

Real Life Comics even weighed in on it.



I need to buy two bags of Sun Chips before the packaging is changed.

One bag to store the dark chocolate.

The other for the cats.

I usually eat sunchips at the office. Even closing my door wasn’t enought o prevent multiple IMs about the noise. I started moving them to a ziplock as soona s I opened them, htus utterly defeating the purpose of the bag.

They also had a tendency to rip stem to stern at the slightest tug.