SunChips Eco-Friendly Packaging Trashed by Consumers

By Vicky Lin
Vicky Lin
Vicky Lin
October 5, 2010 Updated: October 5, 2010

SunChips, by snack giant Frito-Lay, will be trashing its “100% compostable” eco-friendly chip bags, just eighteen months after they hit the shelves. The company will be going back to their old non-biodegradable ones –- via popular consumer vote.

A Facebook page entitled "Sorry But I Can’t Hear You Over This SunChips Bag!" sums up the issue. With over 46,000 fans and counting, many consumers are voicing their annoyance at this crinklier bag design.

“Those things are truly obnoxious. I bought a bag to take with me on a camping trip a couple of weeks ago, and didn't eat them when I discovered how loud they were — I was getting looks from neighboring campsites," commented Stephan Price on Facebook.

The SunChips bag is not only the first compostable of its kind, it is also the noisiest of its kind.

In response to consumer complaints and declined sales results, Frito-Lay will be reverting SunChips bags back to the old design – all except the Original flavor.

Other consumers, however, support the idea of biodegradable bags despite the noise.

“This is ridiculous," commented Jennifer Vranicar, upon a link regarding the decision on Facebook, "I was so excited when I saw a big name like Frito Lay use biodegradable packaging for one of their products. Do people have nothing better to do than complain about the noise of a chip bag?”

The switch began mid-September and should be complete by mid-to-late October.

In the meantime, Frito-Lay, a unit of PepsiCo Inc., is developing a stiffer model of the biodegradable bags, said spokeswoman Aurora Gonzalez.

Vicky Lin