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Snack maker Frito Lay has reverted to the original non-biodegradable material for five of its six SunChips brand bags after consumer feedback indicated its new 100% plant-based polylactic acid (PLA) packaging was too noisy, according to SnacksandBakery.com.

The report said sales have declined for the crisp brand in the 18 months since the introduction of the environmentally friendly bag, which was said to biodegrade in as little as 14 weeks, while conventional chip packets typically take over 100 years.

The novel crisp bag was chosen by product innovation experts from the market research organization Mintel during this summer’s IFT food expo in Chicago as one of the most innovative new products of the past year.

And, according to Mintel’s research, 43% of consumers had said they were likely to buy the SunChips product because of its strong eco-friendly positioning.

Nevertheless, nearly 40,000 people signed up to a Facebook group criticizing the packaging material, plant-based polylactic acid (PLA), for being too loud.

This is not the first time a social network has spoken up about their dislike of a product and companies are beginning to realize that they need to listen.

PepsiCo – FritoLay’s parent company – had a similar experience with its Tropicana juice packaging, which drew such heavy criticism via Twitter that the company withdrew the new design just weeks after it was introduced.

The manufacturer said that the new bags will continue to be used for the original flavour of SunChips and that the five other flavours will be back to the old packaging by the end of this month. The switch started mid-September.

A spokesperson for Frito Lay told BakeryandSnacks.com said that it was currently working on developing a quieter form of compostable packaging for the crisps brand.  – Source: SnacksandBakery.com

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