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We don’t want Green???

October 6, 2010

In my February 7 post,  “Compostable Packaging Finally Here“, I wrote about the introduction of a compostable bag for Frito Lay’s SUN CHIPS snack brand. Great News!!

However, I saw a notice yesterday that Frito Lay was withdrawing its compostable bag for SUN CHIPS.


SUN CHIPS Compostable Bag


According to the announcement, there were two main reasons for doing so:

  1. consumers complained the bag was too “noisy”
  2. sales dropped 11% versus last year.

The material from which the bag is (was?) made, PLA, simply makes more sound than polypropylene, which most salty snack manufacturers use. But is this really sufficient cause for consumers to reject the product?

Frito Lay even tried printing a message on the bag that said, “This bag is louder because it is compostable”, but I guess that wasn’t enough to retain users.

I understand the business reasons for making the change – i.e., to reverse a sales decline. It probably will save Frito Lay some money, because PLA is more expensive than Polypropylene.

Here’s a link to the story as reported in Packaging Digest magazine:

As a marketer, I have to applaud Frito Lay for investing in an emerging technology to make fully compostable packaging. I don’t think the consumer outcry about the “noisiness” and their rejection of the SUN CHIPS package says much about our society.

We say we want “Green”, but we don’t want to put our money where our mouths are.

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