Thursday, August 19, 2010

This Chips Bag May Break the Sound Barrier

Frito-Lay makes a lot of noise marketing its Sun Chips snacks as "green." They are cooked with steam from solar energy, the message goes.

But its latest effort—making the bags out of biodegradable plant material instead of plastic—is creating a different kind of racket. Chip eaters are griping about the loud crackling sounds the new bag makes. Some have compared it to a "revving motorcycle" and "glass breaking."

It is louder than "the cockpit of my jet," said J. Scot Heathman, an Air Force pilot, in a video probing the issue that he posted on his blog under the headline "Potato Chip Technology That Destroys Your Hearing." Mr. Heathman tested the loudness using a RadioShack sound meter. He squeezed the bag and recorded a 95 decibel level. A bag of Tostitos Scoops chips (another Frito-Lay brand, in bags made from plastic) measured 77.
There was a certain amount of validation (and amusement) in reading this Wall Street Journal article. I kid you not, you really can't hear yourself think when you are rustling around in this chips bag. Tom immediately began laughing and saying that some poor person at Frito Lay was going nuts now trying to dampen the sound. Looks as if he was right!

No comments: