Thursday, October 7

Sun Chips Disposes Its Bag

Back in the Spring, I wrote about how SunChips (a Frito Lay brand) was introducing the first biodegradable/compostable chip bag. Quite an innovation and something that the brand communicated loud and clear across multiple marketing channels. I thought it was pretty smart.

Well they are now pulling the bag off the market ... because it's too loud!! Can you believe it! Too loud!

I guess noise pollution trumps land pollution.

There's even a Facebook page with over 48,000 "likes" called "Sorry I Can't Hear You Over This SunChips Bag."

My first reaction was "C'Mon People!" We're talking planet earth here, and you're worried about a little noise. But as I think about it rationally, it makes sense, when you think about how consumer behavior rules over product design and packaging ingredients. When we snack, we don't necessarily want others to know about it. We're often in quiet places or in areas where we may annoy others.

'Tis true that this feels like convenience is more important than the environment, and that bothers me. But this is a good example of an innovation is only good if it fits into people's lives. Loud snacking apparently doesn't work. And from what I understand, the bag is pretty loud.

Someone even measured the noise level at 95 decibels - compared to a phone ringing which is 80, heavy traffic which is 85, and a lawn mower or passing subway train which is 90. I find this so hard to believe, but I guess it's true. That's pretty loud!

The silver lining is that there are now other biodegradable chip bag versions out there, so I don't think we've seen the end of this trail. Happy (quiet) snacking!

What's your experience? Jim.


  1. I haven't had the chips with new/now old bag but the fact the they are noisier than a phone ringing and even a pssing train...I do believe that could be a problem.

  2. Just saw a tweet from the brand that the compostable bag is not going away entirely ... the original flavor will still use it AND there will be a new compostable bag coming soon. Good news. Jim