SunChips new compostable bag

Frito-Lay presents quieter compostable SunChips bag

Frito-Lay hopes to make some big noise in the US with a quieter version of its biodegradable SunChips bag.

The company introduced a biodegradable bag in April 2009 with a big marketing effort to play up its environmentally friendly nature as it was made from plants and not plastic and could break down in compost.

However, customers complained the bag was too loud. The stiffer material made it give off noise that, measured in decibels, is about as loud as a busy city street. The criticism grew so deafening that, in the US, the company switched back to its original bag for most flavours in October.

In Canada, however, consumer reaction was significantly different. It seemed that while people agreed the bag was noisy, they said they could put up with it for the sake of the environment and the bag remained on store shelves for all flavours.

PepsiCo, which owns Frito-Lay, spent a good chunk of last year trying to find a solution to the noisy bag.

The company found that if it used a different adhesive to put together the two layers of a bag-one which protects the food on the inside and one which carries the logo and labels on the outside-it created a sort of noise barrier.

Brad Rodgers, manager of sustainable packaging for PepsiCo advanced research, said engineers looked at dozens of possible options. He admitted that he was initially suspect of the theory that the razor-thin layer of adhesive would solve such a big problem. But engineers found that a more rubber-like adhesive really did absorb some of the sound…..

Packaging Digest: Read more