Frito Lay hears consumer complaints, quiets bioplastic SunChips bag

Spreading the news via the same social media that undermined the product to begin with, Frito Lay announced via Twitter it would relaunch its polylactic-acid (PLA) based compostable bag for SunChips, now in a quieter version.

On Oct. 6, 2010, Frito Lay announced on Twitter that it had not abandoned the biodegradable bag concept, after pulling the first iteration from shelves following consumer backlash over the loudness of the bioplastic bags. "Our compostable bag is not going away! Specially-marked Original flavor bags are still compostable, and we're working on a new bag," the company posted on the microblogging site.

On Feb. 24, Frito Lay again used Twitter to update consumers, asking for feedback on FaceBook regarding its "2x quieter Compostable bag on Original flavor SunChips", which it said would be in stores in "about a month."

In various press reports, Frito Lay noted that sales for the brand declined during in the 18 months the environmentally friendly bag was on sale. Launched in April 2009, Frito Lay reported that the bioplastic-based bag could biodegrade in as little as 14 weeks.

By using a different tie layer to bind the inner and outer layers of the multilayer film, Frito Lay was able to reduce the amount of noise the bag produced, according to a report in Food Production Daily. The company says the new design has a sound level of around 70 decibels, which is equivalent to an average radio, compared to the original, which got as loud as 85 decibels, equivalent to a noisy street or alarm clock, according to the report. The company said that 70 decibels is also on par with similar bags that employ a metalized biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) film. 

 

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