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Issue Date: Vol. 50, No. 10, October 2010, Posted On: 10/5/2010

Frito-Lay Pulls Eco-Friendly, But Noisy, SunChips Bags

by Staff Reporter
Frito-Lay, SunChips, biodegradable packaging, vending machine snacks, snack vending, PepsiCo

Frito-Lay, SunChips PLANO, TX -- Frito-Lay is discontinuing most of its biodegradable packaging used for its SunChips line over complaints from consumers that the bags make too much noise.

The 100% compostable bags rolled out in April 2009 with a big marketing push to play up the fact that they're made from plants and not plastic.

However, consumers have compared the loud rustling sound made by the more rigid, eco-friendly bags to everything from lawnmowers to jet engines. A Facebook group devoted to the cause with more than 44,000 friends goes by the name of "Sorry But I Can't Hear You Over This SunChips Bag."

SunChips sales have reportedly declined more than 11% over the past 52 weeks, USA Today reported, and the packaging change could be the culprit.

The snack giant is switching back to original packaging, which is made of plastic, for five of six SunChip varieties. It will keep the biodegradable bags for the original plain flavor, the second-best seller after Harvest Cheddar. The switch reportedly began mid-September and is expected to be complete by late October.

Frito-Lay, a unit of PepsiCo Inc., based in Purchase, NY, said it will apply what it has learned from the first-generation bags to develop a quieter successor.

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