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Dear Frito Lay, Way To Cave (and miss a brilliant marketing campaign) #rant

To Whomever Made The Decision To Pull The Eco-Friendly Sun Chips Bags For Being “Too Noisy”,

Are you kidding me? A couple of Facebook Groups make a fuss about the new packaging being too noisy and you cave?

You made a change back in April 2009 to bio-degradeable Sun Chips bags that were 100% compostable.

You were proud of it. Environmentally minded people were proud of you. You got a lot of press.

People bitched.

The noise of the bag — due to an unusual molecular structure that makes the bag more rigid — has been compared to everything from lawnmowers to jet engines. There’s even an active Facebook group with more than 44,000 friends that goes by the name of “Sorry But I Can’t Hear You Over This SunChips Bag.”

“Clearly, we’d received consumer feedback that it was noisy,” says Aurora Gonzalez, a Frito-Lay spokeswoman. “We recognized from the beginning that the bag felt, looked and sounded different.”

This is my favorite.

“Everybody seems to be on the bandwagon for environmentally friendly packaging,” says JoAnn Hines, a packaging consultant who refers to herself as the Packaging Diva. “But the problem is that bags like this come out without researching all the consequences.”

Pardon me, but can I smack the “Packaging Diva” up the head? Consequences? Of a potato chip bag? O.o

Anyway. People bitch. You got more press.

But did you respond with any sort of mission statement? Did you choose to back up your decision?


You’ve pulled the packaging and gone back to the old SunChips packaging.

In the end, here’s what’s happening…

People are more concerned with the noise a bag of chips makes for the 10 minutes they spend eating it than they are with the number of YEARS it’ll spend in a landfill after they’ve thrown it away.

So, everyone’s down with helping the environment as long as what they do doesn’t affect them in any way.

Frito Lay, I have an idea. Why not be bold. Why not USE this. Brand it. Be willing to state that you’re willing to make a little noise to help the environment.

Because, while the whiners might not like it, a lot of other people might just decide they want to back your brand because you actually had the balls to take a stand and do your part to help the environment.

Be noisy.

Drown out the idiots.


edit: Because I’ve been asked. I joined a Facebook group to get the old bag back. So far not many have joined. I hope that’ll change.



  1. They should have turned the controversy into a marketing campaign. “This noise means you are saving the environment.” Do they really have to start shilling their chips in burlap (the hippies probably prefer hemp) sacks in order to get people to buy into it?

  2. Not trying to play devils advocate here but another big issue with the bags was the fact that they split open ridiculously easy, at least a third of the box of chips would have to be thrown out due to this issue… That’s certainly not eco or fiscally responsible. Just sayin’.

  3. Can you hear the bag over the sound of chips crunching while you eat them? Probably not. (there’s also a facebook group for that, btw)

  4. I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard about this. Can’t people take two seconds to pour the chips into a silent bowl and eat them that way? Gods, we are becoming a babyish society with all our whingeing about momentary discomfort.(ie. the crinkle of a chip bag…sigh..)I can’t believe sunchips caved on this one..I love your idea of promoting a marketing slant about MAKING NOISE for the environment! (good for you..hmm…ever thought of pitching the idea to them?)

  5. I believe complaining about a slightly louder than average chip bag is the epitome of “first world problem.”

  6. What happened to “Crunchie, crunchie goodness.” or “The chip that goes crunch now has a bag that goes crunch-er”? Isn’t a chip bag supposed to be loud, and impossible to open?

  7. I agree. Dipshit move; and the possibilities for marketing their ‘Loud and Proud’ could have been brilliant.

  8. I dunt eat dem sunchips…but ma human buyed dem only because of dat bag. We will never buy them again since they turned tail & runned!

  9. Yeah, it’s really sad to see a company cave to this kind of thing. It’s also a bit sad to see public opinion is more concerned about the noise than the planet. Maybe that’s because I’m an ecologist. Good thing I don’t eat sunchips anyway.

    Girls Are Geeks

  10. Is there a Facebook Group for getting the biodegradable bag back yet?

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