SunChips Noisy Bag Causes Frito-Lay to Hear Customers


Like the majority of us, you’ve most likely heard, seen or experienced the overwhelming rush of companies attempting to incorporate an eco-friendly something-or-other in their everyday businesses. Some have succeeded; others have not. In a November article, Frito-Lay was recognized by DuPont—a science-based products and services company—as a Gold Winner for packaging innovation with its biodegradable SunChips bags. DuPont stated that “Frito-Lay overcame significant technical hurdles to develop packaging that reduces the environmental impact of its SunChips brand.” Sounds like a success story, right? Not exactly. The overall consumer disgust (yes, I think I can freely say disgust in this case) for the loud noise made by even lightly touching the bag created an uproar of unpopularity by the public. So much so that Frito-Lay has taken the biodegradable bag off the shelves until they can solve the “noise” problem. I imagine that’s not an inexpensive fix. Moral of this loud, costly story? If you’re going to embrace new trends, don’t forget to think about your customers’ basic wants and needs, down to the pet peeves. If you don’t, you could wind up like Frito-Lay: hopping on the trend-bandwagon and falling right off the other side.