Guest Column--Green packaging takes a back seat to sound dynamics
My husband and I love Sun Chips. They are all-around a great chip, as I am sure many would agree. That’s why I was so shocked Tuesday morning when I flicked on the news to hear that Sun Chips would be discontinuing the use of their new, (and, dare I say, awesome) biodegradable bag. The reason for the discontinuation? Consumers are complaining that they are just “too loud.”
To hear it said, it sounds completely ridiculous. After all, it’s not about the bag, really, it’s about those tasty chips that lay inside the bag. But, to be fair to complainers everywhere, the bag is a little louder than some.
I am a regular Sun Chips consumer, but the bag didn’t bother me all that much. The increased volume of the crinkling bag became a joke in our home, my husband crinkling the bag and saying, “What?!? I can’t hear you!”
So why did the Sun Chips corporation back down so easily to the complaints of consumers? It was all about money. The chip manufacturers saw an 11 percent decline in sales – a clear indicator the “good for the environment” attitude was hurting their bottom line.
I just can’t understand why these eco-friendly solutions are constantly under attack, and, moreover, why consumers can’t get behind the idea of better solutions. It wasn’t as though the chips were more expensive. They were only better for the environment.
It is instances of this sort of happening that makes me wonder if we are really in trouble. Frito-Lay went out on a limb to try to please consumers with a green, Earth-loving potato chip bag. They probably hoped to lead the revolution of the compostable bag, and to no avail.
This bag, like the electric car, will die a death of complicated origin: part logistics, part consumer-catalyzed. Sure, it isn’t the electric car or anything, and while it may be small step back for a corporation, it is a giant step back for mankind.
For now, when you are done with your bag of chips and the taste has long left your mouth, that bag will lay in the landfill, for years and years – thanks, in part, to a few whiny consumers who couldn’t open their minds to the idea of a louder chip bag.