As of late Friday afternoon, Feb. 25, Google showed that more than 225 stories had been published relating to Frito-Lay’s news that it has heard consumers’ request for a quieter compostable bag for its SunChips brand snack chip and has launched a quieter, 70-decibal bag. While the company has not offered an official release on the new package, its Facebook page shows a picture of the new pack, with the words, “We heard you. Introducing our new quieter 100% compostable bag.”
In April 2010, Frito-Lay, a business unit of PepsiCo, launched the first 100% compostable snack bag made from PLA. While hailed as a visionary by many, Frito-Lay bore the brunt of bleeding-edge technology when its sales of the snack tumbled nearly 11% due to consumers’ concerns that the bag was too noisy. In fact, consumers were so annoyed by the 85-decibal snack-bag crinkling that they launched a Facebook group called "Sorry But I Can't Hear You Over This SunChips Bag," that amassed 44,000 followers.
Amidst these pressures, Frito-Lay backed off the bag, returning to its traditional petroleum-based packaging for all but one of its SunChips flavors.
Apparently Frito-Lay then went back to the drawing board, developing a new bag structure that dampens the sound. Reports the Los Angeles Times, “They had to find a way to quiet the deafening noise created by the wrinkling of two completely different bags sealed together—the razor-thin bag that protects the food on the inside and the bag on the outside that carries the labeling. Enter rubber.
“A rubber-like adhesive sealing the two parts of the bag together acted like a noise dampening agent.”
The new construction is now on store shelves for the plain-flavor version. Judging by many of the Facebook comments posted, consumers are pleased that Frito-Lay is continuing its compostable experimentation and are looking forward to test-driving the new bags.