Frito-Lay aims to quietly sack its biodegradable but noisy SunChips bag after 18 months of its introduction. Made from plant material, the bag was billed as 100% compostable, but tended to be rather loud.


Frito-Lay is preparing to quietly “bag” its renewable, sustainable, “green” but noisy SunChips package, about 18 months after its introduction. The biodegradable bag was billed as 100% compostable, but the Plano, Texas, company is pulling the noisy material from the packages of five of its six SunChips varieties, replacing the bags with the former bag material, which isn’t recyclable, while it tries to develop a quieter eco-friendly bag.

The noisy bio-bag has been the center of attention-and bond of contention-because of its molecular structure and composition, which makes it stiff and more rigid and makes a crackly, noisy sound when being handled or opened. Consumers even created a Facebook group titled "Sorry But I Can't Hear You Over This SunChips Bag," which has garnered more than 44,000 friends.

"Clearly, we'd received consumer feedback that it was noisy," says Aurora Gonzalez, a Frito-Lay spokeswoman. "We recognized from the beginning that the bag felt, looked and sounded different."

And while consumers say they want companies to be more environmentally conscious, pressure continues to be strong for products to be convenient, predictable, consumer-friendly and “quiet.” Gonzalez says her company is working on it. “We are on a journey with compostable packaging,” and Frito-Lay is showing its commitment by sticking with the noisy but compostable packaging for the sixth offering, its top-selling Original, she says.